& Frozen Farmer Ewe Logo

Dolly says to keep reading for funny Frozen Farm story…

Today’s first order of business is to announce the creation of a new blog where I am going to write about NAIS. My goal is to create a site that has summaries of the key information as well as providing links to complete information and other resources on the web about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) being implemented by the USDA. NAIS is going to force mandatory Premise ID registration, tagging and tracking on anyone with ‘livestock’. If you care about fighting NAIS then check over there from time to time. I will post status updates and action alerts as I learn of them. I promise not to make it overwhelming. Get the RSS feed if you like. If you have a blog, please spread the word about NAIS and how destructive it will be.

If you do not already know about NAIS, then please hop on over to and get informed. Read the summaries or read the original USDA NAIS documentation. NAIS is going to affect everyone. It will benefit the Big Agri-Biz corporations with expanded export markets, bigger profits and reduced competition from small farmers. The government will get bigger and have more money for payroll and opportunities for kickbacks. NAIS will hurt consumers with higher prices and less choice. It will hurt small farmers, homesteaders and even pet owners with mandatory annual fees, unnecessary time consuming paperwork and government interference in our private lives. See, there is something for everyone!

NAISewe ButtonThe logo above features our little Montedale ewe “Dolly Pardon Me For Breathing a word about NAIS!” who is objecting deeply to this “ridiculously Baahhhd idea” (her words). Dolly has graciously modeled for the image at no fee! Three cheers for Dolly!!! Her volunteering her famous face to the campaign to fight NAIS will undoubted attract huge followings from her fans in the field. Dolly has made one request, and that is that I share the design with anyone that wants to fight NAIS. So, if you would like to use the image on your blog, web site, bumper stickers, T-shirts, etc to help spread the word about the evilness of NAIS, just let me know. Images are available in 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 square pixel sizes in PNG, JPG and GIF file formats. NAISewe ButtonThey are downloadable from the Dolly’s image folder. Evil doers beware: Dolly has vowed to prosecute for copyright violations anyone who misuses her image and her boyfriend has promised to ram them!

Now onto a lighter topic: My demise and not at all exaggerated.

News Headline:
Freak Friday Fix – Farmer Found Frozen!

Well, no, not really, but as I struggled in the cold I could just see the newspaper headlines! It was a close call…

We have one car. Normally when my wife goes into town to do errands, I don’t play with big tools like the chain-saw or tractor, just to be extra safe. But one Friday I had been working on redoing a section of driveway and it was very rough. Unfortunately, a hydraulic hose burst and I had to stop and repair that.

The section of driveway is flat, with walls on either side. “If I finish it now before she returns,” I thought to myself, “then she’ll have an easier time turning around and parking. And it is pretty safe. What could go wrong? I’m on flat ground, can’t flip over, there are earthen walls to either side, I’m dressed warmly and I could even plow the driveway for her.”

So I did. Everything went well. It all looked good in time for her return. In fact, I was early with an hour or two to spare and the snow storm was letting up. Great – it will be good news for Holly!

I parked and went to undo my seat belt in the tractor. Oops! Bad news – No go. The seat belt latch was frozen shut. Banged on it with my hand for a while to no avail…

Good news – “No problem,” I thought, “I’ve got a tool in my pocket with a screwdriver, pliers and knife…”

Bad news – the seat belt goes over them and I can’t get into the pocket of my work suit! I guess that shows that even the paranoid don’t think of everything.

It was getting cold and although I was dressed well for the weather, I had been out in it a long time. I was starting to feel the cold and the snow had started up again. Headlines started to flash through my mind, “Man found frozen in seat, alone, at home!” Oh great! This isn’t real – right!?! She’ll be home in an hour… or two…! This was ridiculous. I felt slightly silly. And shivered at the thought. Or maybe it was the cold.

Good news – I could drive to a neighbors, it is only a mile. They might be home, in the middle of a work day… really…

Bad news – I am almost out of fuel. Maybe getting stuck on a back road where people very rarely drive while locked in my seat is not such a bright idea…

Good news! Down at my feet was a logging chain on the floor of the tractor cab. I managed to get it over close enough and pick it up. First I tried tapping, and then banging the seat belt latch with the chain hook. I figured a bigger mass than my hand might help.

Bad news – no go! Now the latch appeared stuck down and still wasn’t giving. Things were not progressing.

But wait, no need to panic! Good news! On the end of the chain, holding on the hook was a pin. On the pin was a wire ring that held it on to the chain and the hook. I disassembled it, making a straight wire out of the ring. Using that I poked around in side the latch and presto-magico, I was free. No headlines! :) :) :) I felt pretty silly. All this for the lack of a pokey thing.

I got out, tried the buckle and latch repeatedly and they worked fine now, of course! I sprayed some WD-40 into the latch – I should have done that before with winter coming on. So I managed to remain out of the newspaper and statistics for one more day. Life is good.

28째F/31째F, Sunny

“The farther away we are from the source of our food, the less control we have over what is in that food.”Olsen’s Law


About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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11 Responses to & Frozen Farmer

  1. RL says:


    Thanks for the tip about the Metro Farm radio program. Just listened to it. Took a while to down load through our slow speed dial up, but heard it in full nonetheless. Interesting how Dr. “John” evaded the term “mandatory”, instead preferring the term “full participation”. And how he minimized the penalty for noncompliance, which they said in Texas could be up to $1000 per day. That’s sure to “encourage”, “full participation“.

    I’m heading over to check out your new NoNAIS blog. That’s a great logo. Who came up with that?

    About WD-40. I don’t know if it is entirely true or not but, I once heard that the WD stands for water displacement and 40 stands for how many tries it took to perfect the formula. Glad you didn’t freeze to death, we need you to stick around for a good long time.


  2. Gina says:

    Hi, I will add to both my blog sites! I am been steadfastly trying to fight this in my area and am learning that no one, and I mean no one, knows about NAIS. I have written letters to representatives (with no answer) and to newpapers (no publiishing-I have some more of these to send-more direct and to the point). I am trying ot get the word out and will add your blog to the list of links if that is ok.

  3. Rachael says:

    Hi Walter! Saw that you commented on my blog and thought I had better check out yours. I’m glad to see that you will be doing updates on NAIS. I’ll be checking that blog periodically and this one whenever I can. Very interesting and nice.

    My mom’s blog may be of some interest to you, “A Bit of Earth.” In a nutshell, she used to work for the government as a city/town/county planner, but is finally fed up with it all and is raising historic breeds of chickens and living an 18th century life as much as she can. Anyway, her blog is here:

  4. threecollie says:

    I never fail to marvel at the ingenuity of farmers in a crisis. I love the way my guys cook up something out of nothing when things break down. Good job getting out of that icy trap in one piece!
    Congratulations on a nice blog, and also for using a seat belt on a tractor, which all too few guys will.

  5. Podchef says:

    Seatbelt on a tractor??? I’m all for safety, and I know that tractor accidents happen all the time, but I’ve never considered buckling myself in. . .the amount of time one gets on and off a tractor in an hour. . .no wonder the buckle froze it’s probably worn out. Good thing you didn’t become a statistic, as in “in today’s news another farmer is stuck fast and frozen to death in a spate of seatbelt malfunctions. The tractor was found circling the farmers tools at 5 mph. . . .” :-}

    Stay safe–we need NoNais to continue.

  6. If you saw our steep hill sides you would understand the reason for a seatbelt. In the event of a roll over the roll bar up over my head helps protect me from being crushed against the ground – as long as I stay firmly in the seat. The seat belt insures that. Sometimes a bit too well. :)

  7. Redhen says:

    Hah! I sympathize, Walter, but somehow it’s comforting to know that other farmers have freaky Fridays. Thanks.


    (Oh — what about carrying one of those “warm hands” packs in your pocket? It might have thawed the seatbelt mechanism, or at least kept your hands warm.)

  8. Leslie says:

    That could have been a close call, Walter! Thank goodness things worked out for you.

    What I’m wondering is how you managed enough strength and dexterity in your fingers to work the bit of metal into a “pokey thing”.

    Thank goodness everything worked out well. So… how long *was* it before Holly got home?

  9. Farmerbob1 says:

    Seems to be quite a few bad links associated with this article, Walter.

    Since the site appears to be down, I’m assuming (a dangerous thing to do) that the bad image links are because they were hosted on the other site.

    As for the seatbelt problem… Do you still remember to lube the buckle every year after first freeze? :)

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