Missouri’s proud agricultural tradition dates back to approximately 1725, when the first farms were developed by French settlers in the Saint Genevieve area. Throughout the rest of the 1800s and into the 1900s, Missouri agriculture gradually evolved from a scattered collection of small family farms into the booming industry that is familiar to most present-day Missourians.
Farming remains an integral part of the economy and the culture in all of Missouri and at the Lake of the Ozarks, and as we approach the time for fall harvest, an increase in farming equipment traffic on roads throughout the Lake Area is inevitable. Due to the low speed and the bulk of many tractors and other types of equipment, there is an increased risk of accidents. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 156 traffic accidents involving farm equipment in 2014; fifty-seven persons were injured and four were killed.
Drivers sharing the road with our farmers are encouraged to adhere to a few basic safety guidelines to prevent any mishaps:
- Be patient. Slow down and allow the operators of the machinery to proceed safely. Don’t pass on hills or curves; wait for a straight, flat stretch of road and pass only when the road is completely clear.
- Stay alert. Be aware of farming equipment waiting to turn onto the roadway. Extra attention must be paid at dusk and dawn because of lowered visibility.