Outstanding In Their Field

Outstanding in their field Stng Head-WEB

I have been selling hay and straw to hundreds, if not thousands, of customers in the last 40 years. I wish I had written down all the bizarre, crazy, and frustrating situations I have endured. It never ceases to amaze me how many people own livestock and seem to lack the most minimal knowledge of the animals’ nutritional needs or proper care.
Some do not know the difference between straw bales, grass hay or alfalfa hay. Some swear a horse will die if they eat rained-on hay, and the next day someone will buy my entire rack of it and feed it to their horse. One once said they didn’t want timothy hay, they only wanted grass.
Timothy is a grass hay. I should complete a fee schedule for extra services, such as vet care (without a license), nutritional advice, fencing and housing recommendations as well as tutorials on how to stack bales for safe transit.
You should know how to use a ratchet strap if you bought it. I could have a YouTube channel with videos of people fighting to loosen the straps or successfully thread them and tighten them. Don’t even get me going on people with ropes and straps full of knots frozen in ice with weeks of clutter and garbage in the back of the truck.
I usually ask for the straps before loading load since the hooks are inside the bed of the truck. You would not believe how many dismiss me and then are frustrated trying to find someplace to fasten them after we have stacked 6 layers in the truck. More than once, they have stacked hay in the bed covering their toolbox, and then realize the straps are still in the toolbox or sitting at home.
Many times, I try to help when I see a shoddy stack job or completely inept securing of the load. I feel a duty to the rest of the world on the highways for the customer to not lose the bales and cause an accident. This could backfire on me; someday I may be blamed for a load that is responsible for an accident because of what I did, or perhaps, what I didn’t do.
I have seen trailers with no lights, holes in floors, tread peeling off tires, suspensions overloaded to the point of tires rubbing on trailer and tow units close to dragging bottom from excessive tongue weight.
Here are some of the most recent scenarios: “That alfalfa is too stemmy for sheep.” Within the week, another customer bought every bale for his sheep.
“Horse cannot eat alfalfa.” Later that day, a customer buys it for his horse and feeds it.
“Can I get hay today?” I reply yes … if you can get to the farm in Manhattan within 15 minutes; it is 7:45, and I have been working over 12 hours already. They tell me they are 5 minutes away and then I find out they are in Bolingbrook. Nobody can drive that fast.

Not long ago, a customer called from Mexico. While he was vacationing, his family ran out of hay and he needed a 10 p.m. delivery. It didn’t happen.
And my all-time favorite phone call when I just finished showering so I could have some personal/family time, “I have 150 head of sheep and ran out of hay yesterday.” He thought his lack of planning constituted an emergency on my part.
So please, if you want to avoid being in a Tik-Tok video or referenced in a future article, please Google search, “How to use a ratchet strap,” before you come to my farm.
Or, at the very least, know the difference in hay and straw. It isn’t that hard.

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