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Small farm machinery and your body: Use both wisely

URBANA -- Developing a productive and profitable sustainable small farm requires matching the right tool to the right job safely. The Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network (CISFN), which promotes the development of local food systems in central Illinois through farmer support and training, is offering a field day at the Spence Farm Foundation on “Small Farm Machinery and Your Body – Using Both Wisely,” on Saturday, May 11, from 9:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Topics covered in the sessions will include: choosing the right implements for the job, maintaining those tools, demonstrations of the machinery in action, and several different methods for avoiding injury while using large- and small-scale equipment. Maintaining farm machinery for optimal performance will also be addressed.

All sessions will focus on using equipment safely and using the most valuable tool you have, your body, carefully to prevent injury and strain. The different methods that large- and small-framed individuals need to use to stay safe around farm machinery will be demonstrated. There will also be sessions about using hand tools efficiently and how to recuperate from injury.

The program will include tours of historic Spence Farm, which is where Kris, Will, and Marty Travis grow vegetables, grains, and hay; raise pastured cattle and hogs; beekeep; wild harvest; and make maple syrup. Participants will have the chance to see a variety of farm machines in action.

Spence Farm Foundation is dedicated to growing sustainable farms and communities and focuses on “teaching the art, history, and practice of sustainable small family farming.” It offers instruction to children, farmers, and the public about farming and rural lifestyles, translating the vision of a diversified small family farm from the past to the present. Visit for more details.

Register for the events at by May 10. The program is limited to 50 participants aged 10 and up. The cost is $5 per participant (no charge for CISFN members).

The Spence Farm – Phelps Schoolhouse is located at 2959 North 2050 East Road, Fairbury (Livingston County). Bring a sack lunch and a folding chair. Drinks will be provided.

Source: ACES

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