“If farmers came with extended warranties, farming would be much simpler.”
The Dictionary for New Farmers, 1st edition
“Hello! This is the second notice that the factory warranty on your vehicle has expired.” We all have recently received so many of these types of phone calls begging us to take action that it is as irritating as having a migraine while listening to a New York Rockettes’ tap-dancing routine. The calls have given me thought, however, to the possibility that extended warranties should be offered to farmers. Shoot, I bet that there are more old farmers out there who have had rotator cuff tears than there are politicians who have a love affair with pork.
Here are a few examples of what a farmer’s extended warranty might cover:
1. Shoulder repair needed due to lifting heavy hay bales, farm equipment, sheep, goats, and the legs of reluctant horses
2. Knee replacement required from slips, slides and falls in muck, accompanied by too many up and down steps.
3. Hip replacement from the daily jumps and squats that would leave even Richard Simmons exhausted and ready to give up his tights in defeat.
4. Fingers and toes injured by scythes, axes, rope burns and chomps from ugly-tempered animals that can be meaner than a drenched cat on a caffeine supplement.
Farm spouses everywhere would have the assurance that their farm-working significant other would have their damaged parts replaced and rendered “good as new” no matter which part of the human anatomy was involved. I would certainly expect that there would be fine print included which would explain exceptions and prohibit the resale of said parts by the owner.
For example, I would not expect the warranty to cover roto-rooting of my arteries due to my over-indulgence of Little Debbie snacks which has been self-inflicted. But I would expect it to cover eye strain from the reading the market reports of pork bellies, corn futures, soybean forecasts and the small print on cow, goat and horse wormer packages. Speaking of which, intestinal parasites probably would not have to be covered because most livestock farmers over the years have had enough contact with wormer medicine to be worm-free for life. A small consolation for gaining intestinal fortitude, as if most farmers didn’t have enough already.
I am fortunate that hair loss, bunions, and back issues aside, I can say that, at least for the moment, I still have most of my important parts.
It’s true, I now start rough in the in the morning, and perhaps my intestinal catalytic converter occasional acts up and backfiring occurs, but I have gained more from farming than I have lost. Most farmers would say the same. And even though a part may fall off here and there, my wife says she still loves me just the way I am. As we celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary this week, I am grateful. If less is more, then we have lots of good years ahead of us.
Jeff and Kathy Crisler own a farm in Hocking County where they raise bees, berries and blisters. They are both retired and have two children and six grandchildren. Jeff wrote this column to be published in The Logan Daily News. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.