Amazing how its literally been almost a month since our last blog post and that the month of Novemeber flew by. Harvest has since come and gone and our time has been consumed with deer hunting, time reconnecting with each other and family gatherings now that the holidays are upon us. I had many people ask questions about how Ryan farms, before I get into that heres a little back ground on my hubby and his passion for farming.
Growing up Ryan's grandparents farmed and also his uncle. In 1993 Ryan's grandparents retired from farming and his uncle started running the land. As Ryan got older he helped his Uncle in the field and at the age of 23 started renting some farm land of his own. Ryan was also currently working in HVAC until June of 2007, he left heating and air conditioning to work for his current employer to sell crop insurance. Unfortantely after Ryan's accident the land lord decided to no longer rent the farm land to Ryan because he was now paralyzed, stating that he no longer would be able to do it. Hard words for someone to hear when his life just brutually got turned upside down and now his passion was being taken away from him because of something he had no control of. When life got hard, it became even harder for Ryan, but that didnt stop him from pursuing his dreams and goals of farming. It also didnt stop him from proving his doctors wrong who said he would never be able to farm again.
Speed ahead to the present date and you'll find my hubby farming with my family, the Carlsons. You'll also find him farming the land that we have been able to rent ourselves, going on three years now. Not many think that farming is possible for Ryan since he is in a wheelchair but it most defintely is with a few minor tweaks and adjustments.
Ryan drives grain cart and also does tillage work. Most new farm machinery these days pretty much drives themselves and is able to operate by hands. Ryan had handles made that attaches to the brake so he is able to use the brake with his hands. He also has a video camera mounted onto the grain cart so he can watch on the monitor in the cab to see how full the cart is and also to see while dumping on the go. There also is a separate camera mounted on the back of the grain cart so Ryan can see if there is traffice behind him. He has this since its harder for Ryan to turn his head and body around.
Now the question most are thinking is how does Ryan get in and out of the tractor. For a while we used the method of literlly my uncle piggy backing Ryan and getting him in and out of the tractor that way. Not the safest method for both people but it got the job done. Eventualy my dad came up with the idea of mounting a chair onto our fork lift so we could raise Ryan up. The door is wide enough on our tractors that they can bring Ryan right up into the cab and he is able to trasnfer onto the buddy seat and slide onto the driver's seat. They do have fancy lifts that mount onto the outside of farm machinery, but those lifts are also very spendy. Hopefully in the future we will be able to have lifts like this but for right now our make shift lift is doable. Once Ryan is in the tractor he is pretty much good to go and can be in there all day. Obviously if there is a problem he cant get out so he is at the mercy of others and if there were to ever be a fire in his tractor, well like he said he would get out, when theres a will theres a way.
Ryan has never let his paralysis stop him from doing what he loves most and thats farming. This man LOVES to be in a tractor and is happiest on the farm! He is proof the if you want something bad enough you wont let anything stop you from getting it. In the midst of the busy harvest season the only video we got of Ryan getting out of the tractor was at night, so check it out at youtu.be/n1CiuDKtPJU
Also enjoy some of the photos my mother captured of the 2016 harvest, and few old pictures of Ryan farming prior to his accident.