“If you don’t have time to do it right, will you have time to do it over?” As a child growing up I often heard these words or something similar cross my mother’s lips — aimed in my direction. You see I, like most kids, would often try to cut corners in an effort to lighten some task I was expected to complete.

My dad wore grey uniforms to work each day in our family business. When the school year ended, my mom saw ironing these as an appropriate summer task for me. Not only would it get the ironing done and teach me responsibility, it was character-building. She also saw it as time filler. One day I decided that since people really only saw the front of the shirts, I should only have to iron the front. The brilliant thought lasted until my dad dressed for work the next day. That particular lecture was lengthy and ended with the admonition: If you didn’t take time to do it right the first time, it takes more time to do it over.

Harvest time is beginning across the state. Since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. The 2017 program theme, “Working Together for Safety in Agriculture,” encourages farm workers and their families to work safely to complete the harvest without incident.

Due to technology and advancements in equipment, farm accidents have declined. However, if an accident happens to a loved one, it is one too many accidents. Harvest season often brings stress from weather, exhaustion from long hours, equipment breakdowns, poor nutrition and haste. Any of these factors can mar judgement and lead to a potential accident.

Farmers feed the world so they are important to all of us as well as their families. It is important that farmers work safely, but for others of us, it is important to be patient. Large equipment will be dotting the roadways about the same time people are driving scenic routes to enjoy fall foliage or just daily travel on rural roads.

When it comes to farm safety, my mother’s admonition might be altered to include another small word: opportunity. “If you don’t have time to do it right, will you have the time…or opportunity to do it over?”

Let’s enjoy the beautiful fall weather and work together for a safe harvest.

Diane Olson, of Jefferson City, Mo. is director of promotion and education for the Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.

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