5 Top Skills Ev­ery Farmer Should Know

Farm & Ranch Living - - THE WAY WE LIVE THE LAGERS -

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.

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