Federation Broadcast Director Kevin Worthington and Lowndes Country Farmers Federation President Dan Rhyne discuss the "Farmer At Work" safety campaign with WSFA-12 Alabama Live! host Kim Hendrix.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Dan Rhyne, who has had his share of close calls with traffic while driving a farm tractor on a busy U.S. 80, took the Alabama Farmers Federation's "Farmer At Work" safety campaign to television today as he appeared on WSFA-12's Alabama Live! program.
Rhyne, president of the Lowndes County Farmers Federation whose passion for farmers' safety was the force behind the "Farmer At Work" campaign, appeared on the program along with Federation Broadcast Director Kevin Worthington to help raise awareness of the dangers farmers face while driving tractors and moving farm equipment on Alabama highways.
Rhyne told Alabama Live! host Kim Hendrix that highway safety is a "two-fold thing: There are two people out on the highway ---- the public and the farmer."
"We want to do our part," Rhyne said. "We don't get out right before dark or too early in the morning or foggy or thunderstorms. We get off the road. We try to travel on less busy days, and we try to be courteous on the highway. We know we're holding up traffic, and we try to pull off the road and let people by. So, we try to do all we can do."
"Farming is a dangerous occupation to begin with, but probably the most dangerous thing we do now is carry our equipment up and down the highway," Rhyne added. "We're simply going from field to field and trying to get to our job."
Worthington discussed the four "Farmer At Work" public safety announcements that have been produced in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Public Safety and Alabama Department of Transportation.
Two videos, one featuring Rhyne and another featuring Blount County farmer Allen Jones, were aired during the program. The show featuring those videos can be seen on the WSFA12 Web site at www.wsfa.com. A third video, featuring Martin Anderson whose brother David was killed in a 2007 highway accident, has been posted to YouTube.com and can be viewed below.
Rhyne, who has spearheaded the Lowndes County Farmers Federation's effort to distribute Slow-Moving Vehicle signs to farmers in the area, talked about the importance of the SMV emblem. The sign is required to be on the back of all farm tractors or machinery that is incapable of moving any faster than 25 mph.
Hendrix noted that many motorists are likely unaware that farmers and farm vehicles "have every right to be on the roadway, even if they can't move fast."
She also noted how the campaign was "personal" for Rhyne, who farms on both sides of a busy four-lane highway with his brother Hoffman and son Daniel. "My son's on the road right now driving a piece of equipment," said Rhyne. "I just hope everything's all right."