In my role on the farm, I have a list of equipment that I use on a regular basis. Normally they lack a cab, size, and horsepower, but for our needs, they fulfill their purpose perfectly. When I got the chance to drive the new John Deere with the plush cab, radio, and heater, I was so excited! My task was to laser level a pasture behind my house in preparation for fencing and irrigation. However, my excitement quickly turned to bright red embarrassment.
What I failed to remember is that the scraper I was using had a large mast that held the receiver for the laser level. This large mast stuck up well above the tractor . . . well above it. Now, suffice it to say, that this was the first of my errors.
At this point, I believe that it is important to point out that our ranch has a few trees on it with very large, mast grabbing branches. How do I know they are mast grabbing branches, you ask? Experience.
Let me tell you how efficient those branches are. As I drove underneath said branches, I felt that I had made it trouble free because the tractor had made it with zero issue. With confidence on my side, I gave it the gas and proceeded to pull away. Let’s label this as mistake number two.
As I pulled away from the tree, the mast stood tall and erect like a proud rooster ready to crow at the sight of the sun. As I turned to look at how great my pass was, I noticed the mast was now looking down at my pass as well. I felt so dumb! How could I have made such a bonehead error!
There was no going back and no way to hide it, so it was time to ‘fess up and own it. Now this doesn’t come without major harassment. When anyone makes a big “boo-boo” on the farm, everyone else becomes comedians, relentlessly harassing the dummy who glitched at life, making everyone laugh all the while.
It’s never my intention to screw up, but when I do, I know the situation will be handled in a good-natured way. We try to make light of a bad situation.
This week, remember that life happens. Sometimes it’s messy, but if you have a good circle of people around, you can make it through anything.
Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.