Farm Facts and Furrows – Mar 12-14

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Northern Summer Jobs Service

The Northern Summer Jobs Service 2014 program was launched and information is available on the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) website. Clients can access the information on the MNDM website at www.ontario.ca/northernsummerjobs.

Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop

A Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop is scheduled for March 18 and 25 on Manitoulin. Workshops are free of charge. Come out and take part in a two-day workshop that gives you the tools needed to assess your business:

• Review current farm management practices, systems, knowledge, and skills.
• Understand how planning provides a framework for effective decision making.
• Set goals and priorities for the future.
• Identify resources to help you meet your goals.
• Build on the strengths of your farm business.
• Write an Action Plan to guide you towards improved farm management.

For registration or more information, go to www.ontariosoilcrop.org or call Mary Scott 705-377-4928.

Safety in the farm shop

Many farmers will be spending extra time in the farm shop before heading out to the fields. Whether shop time means routine maintenance or repairs to major equipment, make sure safety is priority. It’s easy to rush through a job when the weather is just right and time is running out, but short cuts often result in accidents. Start the season by making sure the farm shop is in order, with everything in its place and operating properly. Check electrical cords carefully for holes and excessive wear. Wrap or coil electrical cords so that they don’t become damaged or create a fall hazard. Shops should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (CFCI) and arc fault interrupters (AFI) to prevent shock hazards. Newer buildings that have been constructed for the sole purpose of serving as a farm shop are usually well-lit, but older buildings that have been converted to serve as a shop sometimes have poor lighting. Dim light and shadows create a safety hazard, especially if the operator is tired. Make sure that the shop is well-ventilated, especially during activities such as painting, fluid handling and welding. No matter what the surface, keep floors as clean as possible; free from litter, cords, equipment and tools that aren’t in use. Clean up spills as soon as they occur, and make sure slippery surfaces are demarcated until they are no longer hazardous. There should be some means of temperature control for the shop—people who are uncomfortable due to excess heat or cold cannot perform routine tasks safely. The fire extinguisher should be mounted properly and easy to access. Large shops might require additional fire extinguishers so that a unit is always accessible from within 30 feet.

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