5 Top Skills Every Farmer Should Know
Garrett Dixon spends much—he might say too much—of his day troubleshooting breakdowns and other hang-ups. To get through them with minimal wasted time and money, he relies on skills other than plowing and planting. He thinks any farmer should be adept in:
1. Tech Support. Farming hasn’t been left out of recent technological advances, he says. During the growing season, he uses some kind of digital guidance system every day.
2. Basic Mechanics. “Each day that you have equipment running, something little is going to break,” he says. “It’s important to quickly be able to diagnose the problem and know how to fix it in the field.”
3. Welding. Garrett says he’s blessed to have a couple of capable welders nearby, but sometimes he has to pick up the torch himself. “My welds may not be as pretty as theirs,” he says, “but they (usually) hold.”
4. Electrical Work. Lights on vehicles stop working and switches go out in the shop. Farmers need to know how to fix them, Garrett says.
5. Plumbing. It’s critical to keep water flowing to livestock and humans, especially in the hot Alabama summers Garrett works in. In the North, freezing temps will break pipes. “You’ll have no choice but to fix them,” he says.