Oregon Aglink Blog

On Purpose

Posted on July 12, 2022
Standing in a wheat field, a young woman in a plaid flannel shirt smiles.
Oregon Aglink executive director Mallory Phelan

Farming is many different things depending on the year, but so often can feel like a test in perseverance and a roll of the dice.

When farmers talk with middle school students on their Adopt a Farmer field trip, they share about some of the risks of growing a crop like unpredictable weather or unforeseen new regulations. Explaining perseverance through these circumstances though can be more nuanced. For some, it’s past persistence that fuels a resilience to keep moving forward. It can be generational knowledge, fortitude, and grit. Other times, it’s stubbornness to stay the course. Whatever it may be, there seems to be a common thread among farmers and ranchers staying in business: making decisions on purpose.

While everyone can argue a little luck and a little prayer have played into the success of their operation, intentionality is also a key driver for success – not just on the farm but in business and in life.

Crop selection and rotation, when to plant, spray, and harvest, who to contract with or when to sell on the open market – there are truly so many factors to consider to make the best decision for your farm. We can all probably think of crop years or times in our lives we’ve made good decisions that worked out well and other decisions that became learning opportunities.

As we’re working through the busiest time of the year with harvest happening all across the state, the same intentional decision making regarding safety on your operation can be lifesaving. Making choices intentionally with as much thought and calculation as possible and not simply taking chances decreases avoidable accidents. 

It’s a perfect time to remind ourselves to not just go through the motions, but remove distractions and accomplish the work needing to be done with a purpose-filled mentality. Put the seatbelt on. Don’t skip the equipment safety check. Climb ladders and into tractor cabs with three points of contact. The list of simple things could be long.

It’s the seemingly common, sometimes small decisions that can be overlooked because dozens, if not hundreds of times it’s been okay not to do it the safest way – but with a little intention, you can better avoid injury or worse. 

Why does safety matter at Oregon Aglink?

Besides working with safety consultants to bring you relevant content year-round, we also have a long-running discount program for qualifying members to save on their workers’ compensation insurance through SAIF.

The discount differs from year to year based on group performance. We like hearing about those years where everyone gets through unscathed, and we also like knowing those intentional choices around your farm create better savings for you and everyone else in the program. Like our Association Health Plan savings, the SAIF discount is another way we provide value for our members while also encouraging you to keep doing what you’re doing: taking care of yourself and the people around you so everyone makes it home at night. 

From the bigger picture decisions to the smaller, repetitive daily decisions, every single one adds up to create a safe, successful farm or ranch operation. It can be easy to get caught up in all the things out of our control – of which there are many.

Nevertheless, there are still many decisions to be made where individuals can make a difference, and we hope that we help keep you informed, intentional, and inspired in whatever choices you make next.

Mallory Phelan

Executive Director

Oregon Aglink