Most Americans live in either urban or suburban areas. Only 2% of our population works in agriculture! For most of us, farming is something we see on television, or on a field trip. One thing that field trips and television can’t really drive home to us city-folk is just how hard — and how much — farmers work. It’s not a 9 to 5 job. It’s not a 40-hour workweek. And it’s not for the faint of heart.
While there are a lot of tasks that are routine on a farm, there are also many other jobs that pop up irregularly. Some of those are small. Some, like the one in this video, are tremendous. One of the most difficult parts of farming isn’t the labor itself but protecting the investment. While many of us work at jobs where we put in 40 hours a week and then get a paycheck shortly thereafter, farming is a longer term kind of job. Preparing the field, sowing the seeds, watering, tending, harvesting, and then finally selling crops, usually months later, is what farming’s all about.
So when all that hard work begins to go literally up in smoke, it’s not even close to crazy that a farmer would risk his own safety to protect his field. That’s just what videographer John Fenton captured one farmer doing when his field caught fire. Firing up his tractor, he towed a plow across his field to create a firebreak, a line that the fire would have difficulty crossing, due to lack of combustible material. It was a risky maneuver and we can’t imagine the nerve it took to drive so close to that much heat, flame, and black smoke.
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