Sep 23, 2014
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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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Commentary on Hands

Sep 30, 2009
I was watching the farm report on Sunday and really liked the comments John Phipps made on hands. I am a recently retired 4-H educator and 4-H volunteer and would like to have a copy of his commentary and would like to use parts of it in recognition ceremonies for my 4-H members and at camp. It was perfect. 

Nikki Eyre
Hillsboro, OH

*Editors Note:
Here is a copy of John's commentary from the September 26-27 show.  
John’s world: as harvest stumbles into full swing in the next few days for much of the country, there are almost ritual warnings to be sounded. Many center on rural roads and the hazards of ever larger machinery, especially at night. Some sound the alarm about grain handling and people at risk in bins and wagons. Most of all, the alerts for keeping children safe should be uppermost in our minds. I would like to add one small encouragement: take care of your hands. My estimate is in any group of 100 farmers there are only about 985 digits. Harvest is too often a time when we damage these most unique features of human construction. Hands are not just the primary tool manipulators for humans, they are how we lift the fallen, applaud the excellent, guide the wayward, comfort the despairing, and hold the future. We refer to productive workers as "good hands" and place hands on those to be blessed. Our hands are marvels of engineering ingenuity and efficiency. To damage them in a moment of thoughtlessness is not just a loss of capability, but self-disrespectful. So this fall, take care of your hands. Please. And given the prospects for a nasty flu season, wash them often.
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