The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
Two examples of lessons with deeper meanings:
Back in the early '70s, after my uncle Francis got done shelling-out a crib of ear corn, he'd make the shelling crew wait while he got down on his hands and knees and finger-raked all the loose corn that had spilled around the base of the sheller. The crew always gave him a hard time for being so finicky, but he'd just smile and keep raking. "Every extra kernel I get is pure profit," he'd say.
A second example: After high school I worked one summer for an old carpenter in town. We used razor knives to trim wood and for dozens of other tasks. He carried a fixed-blade razor knife in his carpenter's apron, with the blade always exposed. I showed up one day with a fancy retractible-blade knife, thinking it would be safer. He took one look, grabbed it, and threw it into a waste barrel. "If you reach for a fixed-blade knife, you're always paying attention because you know that blade is there," he growled. "With a retractible blade, there's always the chance the blade has worked open and you'll slice your hand to the bone because you're not paying attention. "
Decades later, I still remember Uncle Francis' advice about how extra effort produces profits, and that old carpenter's advice to never assume a safety feature will protect you if you're not paying attention.
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