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Farming and the art of motorcycle safety

Posted 5/30/2016 11:05am by Shiloh Avery.

Kelsey getting the "don't wipe out" lesson before riding a motorcycle for the first time


In motorcycle safety class, they teach us that wherever your eyes look, your body and motorcycle will follow.  This is to get people to avoid looking down at the ground while making tight turns so that they don’t wipe out, but I find this to be a valuable life lesson as well.   

For years, Jason and I toiled away at our various jobs while working toward starting our own farm.  As long as we kept our eyes on the goal, our trajectory kept us moving in that direction.  And here we are in our 9th season here at Tumbling Shoals Farm and we constantly create new goals to look at so that we don’t wipe out.  We keep our eyes on goals such as farm and crop improvements, efficiency improvements, customer service and quality improvements, quality of life improvements, etc.  

We’ve learned though, that a goal is not an abstract idea just floating around inside our heads.  Because how do you focus on an abstract idea?  Nope.  We’ve learned that in order to keep your eyes on something, it must be a solid thing with a concrete plan.   

We teach a cash flow workshop every year and we always harp on this idea: if you plan for it, you’ll make it happen (usually).  We tell our students, who are in the very beginning stages of planning for their own farm, not to leave wages for themselves or their employees out of the plan, or they’ll never actually be able to leave that off-farm job and be full time on the farm.  You’ve got to plan for it or you won’t have anything to focus on and you’ll wipe out. 

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