Call before you dig
Teaching farmers to call before they dig is the focus of an exhibit at the 2013 Farm Progress Show. Several educational games are offered, including a large wheel that young and old alike were lined up to spin when we visited the tent. Gina Meehan Taylor is on the Public Education Committee for JULIE, which stands for Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators. She tells Brownfield it’s not just a matter of inconvenience, but could be deadly.
Meehan-Taylor tells Brownfield there have been several tiling accidents in the past few years, and farmers need to be aware that just because you think you don’t have pipelines on your property doesn’t mean that is the case. The pipeline could have been in the ground since 1937 and the farmer either doesn’t remember or doesn’t know it is there. Because of freezing, thawing and erosion, those lines that were put in 4 feet deep might only be 1 foot deep today.
If farmers are going in to do deep ripping or tiling, they need to call 811. It is a free service and free phone call. Call Center operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.