Ask any hunter that makes the yearly trip to hunt. The first training for a hunter is “if you are lost, fire three shots in the air.” If no response, then fire three more shots shortly after. This is a universal distress call. If you are awakened in the night when in town or a city by a gunshot, take safe cover ASAP and call the police.
Monday morning, when we looked out the window, we received a warning shot to remind us that our snow tires should be on. When you see the first car sliding into the ditch, it’s another warning and just pray that it wasn’t you. This will also be a reminder that winter driving skill season has started. It is also a warning that the snowblower should be serviced, fueled up, and ready for a real snowstorm. It’s also a warning that everything that might get stuck or damage the snowblower should be picked up and put safely away for the winter.
A few years ago when I went to get my snowblower for the rear of my tractor after a big snowstorm that arrived with strong winds, I had forgotten where I parked it the spring before. The strong wind had completely covered up the blower. I didn’t find it until spring when the snowbank melted again.
Many highway maintenance contractors are now required to start with liquid salt instead of regular road salt, because it works faster and will be on the road before the snow hits. Many homeowners now use blue salt instead of regular salt. Blue salt works at a colder temperature, requires a smaller amount, and does not “pit” cement like regular salt does.
Ever since the first lock down at the beginning of COVID-19, when working habits, layoffs, eating habits, lack of personal interaction, and one increase in price after the other began, a never-ending increase in mental health problems was noted worldwide. There was also a worldwide increase in suicides, sometime up by 400 per cent. This was first noticed in farming areas. Because of the large swing in eating habits of people eating more at home and less eating out, there was a lot less food waste throwing out uneaten food at restaurants and also at home. This resulted in a notable decrease in total food consumption and a reduction of farm production.
Even before covid, many farms were running on a very tight margin. Our county has escaped flooding, wildfires, tornados, and hurricanes, but we have recently lost some young people by suicide. There were also attempted suicides and these severe mental health results that appeared in all walks of life were definitely attributed to an increase in stress. This problem must be addressed immediately by all means available. If any day courses, or longer, or shorter become available please take some time to attend. The more people that are concerned about our neighbours, watching, talking to, and listening will greatly help our neighbors.
Every day when we watch the news we are reminded of the terrible unrest and killing in too many parts of the world, that in some cases has been going on periodically for thousands of years. In most cases those wars were started because of language, religion, jealousy, or just pure greed. Let this be a “warning shot” to all Canadians that live in the most desirable country in the world. Too many of our politicians and citizens want to impose their religion (or lack of), their language, their politics, demand for better pay than others, shorter work times than others, or even their culture on everyone else. Let this remain to be only “a warning shot” and a reminder that tolerance of other values must be respected and our differences enjoyed, not squashed.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to be involved in a worldwide (more than 90 countries) project to promote sustainable agriculture and agri-tourism. Even farmers that live in some of those war-torn countries are members. If farmers that farm in countries that are living in war-torn countries still have faith in improving our planet, surely Canadian farmers can also be assured of their future.
Chris Judd is a farmer in Clarendon on land that
has been in his family for generations.
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