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The Midwest Cattleman · February 2, 2023 · P4

                                         implement. Hay that can be         We compared notes.
                                         baled and then left and fed in     Yes – it was clear.  He
                                         the field right where it lands     absolutely had strong
                                         definitely fits into a grazing     feelings  about  small
                                         program.  In some cases, this      round balers!
                                         implement has been  used           Milk-can mailboxes
                                         on the same farm for over a          I had never thought
                                         generation and still performs      much about milk-can
                                         every summer like it did when      mailboxes before tak-
                                         it was brand new – without         ing  Professor  Hires’s
                                         incident.  But on some farms,      class,  but  he  had  an
                                         there have been incidents –        opinion on those too.
         What's your perspective?        very unfortunate incidents.        He would say, “Of all
         Perspective makes all the          “How many of you know,          the things that you
      difference.                        Professor Hires would ask          could use to hold up
         If  you happened  to  have  each  class,  “Someone  who            a mailbox, why would
      the same university Agricul- has lost an arm or even fam- anyone use a milk
      ture Engineering professor  ily member in an accident  can?”  Using his logic,
      that I did, then you can prob- with this piece of machinery?”   you might ask the
      ably remember that he hated  Then, the hands would go up.    same question about
      two things with a passion.  They went up in my class.   other items as well.  I
      They were small round bal- “Hands go up in every class.”  see mailboxes mount-
      ers and milk-can mailboxes.   He would say,  “Too many                ed on moldboard
      He would occasionally start  hands.”                                  plows,     barrels,
      his class with a rant, and            I’ve  often  wondered what      wagon      wheels,
      it would often be about one  helped form this perspective.            sickle-bar    mow-
      of those two things.  I don’t  Was it because he was inter-           ers,   suspension
      know how many years he  ested in farm safety as part                  springs,     cream
      taught, but I’m  certain that  of his position in Agriculture         separators, even
      none of his students got away  Engineering and had seen the  complete tractors!
      without hearing his perspec- statics on farm accidents for              These  are all
      tive on both.                      years and years? Perhaps it  part of our agri-
      The small round baler              was more personal.  Maybe he       cultural history,
           “It’s  the  most  dangerous   had experienced one of these       and folks have
      piece of equipment ever in-        incidents first-hand.   That       found new uses                    the period before milk truck
      vented," he would say about        will surely help form a per- for these items and ways to             transportation and he  never
      the small round baler.  Then       spective.   I think part of his  display them as history.  They      wanted to see another milk-
      he  would  give  the  statistics.    point was… “As engineers, we  bring back memories.  A per-         can… ever… again!  He knew
                                         can  do  better.   We  can  make
      If you know much about this                                           fect example is a cross-cut       exactly how many  mailboxes
      piece of machinery, you know       machinery safer, and we have       saw.  If you ever carried one     were mounted on milk-cans
                                         an obligation to do so.”  It
      there  are  still  folks  using  it                                   all day and had to make your      along the highway on his
      every season, and they think       wouldn’t surprise me if it was     living with one, you probably     morning commute - he had
                                         some of or all of these.   He
      it’s great. It wouldn’t be an                                         don’t really care to see one up   to look at them both ways.  I
      exaggeration to say that over      wanted every one of his stu- on the wall as a decoration –           never heard of any incidents,
      the  years,  some  folks  have     dents to go into the workforce  no matter how many pretty            but if someone on that stretch
      even had what could best be        knowing this perspective. Re- flowers are painted on it!             of highway had actually
                                         cently, his name came up with
      described as a  ‘love affair’                                           I carried water up out of a     mounted a mailbox on a small
      with this brand and even this      someone who had attended  steep coulee in Montana when               round baler, it might have
                                         his class years after I had.   I was six years old after fill-       simply disappeared some eve-
                                                                            ing a bucket from an old hand     ning– mailbox  and  all.   Who
                                                                            water pump.  It was January       knows?  It’s all about perspec-
                                                                            1965 and that pump usual-         tive.
                                                                            ly  had  ice  hanging  on  it.   I
                                                                            don’t care to see a mailbox on    KwC
                                                                            a hand water
                                                                            pump - as long
                                                                            as I don’t have
                                                                            to  prime  it,
                                                                            pump it and
                                                                            carry water to
                                                                            drink,    wash
                                                                            and  bathe  up
                                                                            a hill in the
                                                                              It turns out,
                                                                            this professor
                                                                            grew up on a
                                                                            dairy  farm  in
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