I love my job. Love love love the Redneck Girl’s Dream Job. It’s never the same day twice, there’s always something exciting going on. Yesterday, for instance, I visited Rock Bros. Dairy in Hodgenville, Kentucky. It’s a pretty standard dairy operation – they milk about 130 cows twice a day, every day.
Oh, and the guy who owns it? Gary? He’s a double amputee. Above the knee.
Farming is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but sadly it’s also one of the most dangerous. Gary lost his legs in a horrible, preventable accident. He’d been working for more than 12 hours, which is not uncommon for farmers, and was chopping silage (that’s cutting cornstalks to be used for cattle feed for those unfamiliar with the term) and the chopper got clogged up.
Gary did the same thing he’d done a hundred times before – used his foot (without turning the chopper off) to get the belt unclogged. Long, painful story short, the chopper did what it was made to do and chopped. But it chopped his leg off and then he could not get away and it got his other leg, too.
True story. That was in August of 2013, and here’s Gary yesterday.
He was showing off, and I can’t say that I blame him. With the help of his bionic legs, Gary is pictured here transferring from his track chair (an ATV wheelchair, basically. He rounds up cattle in the thing!) to a Bobcat front-end loader, which he then used to go load silage into the feed cart for his dairy cows.
So, friends, Gary Rock got a second chance at life, and he decided not to squander it. He’s doing what he loves and loving what he does. He has to work a little differently than he used to, but he’s adapting. And he’s milking his cows, because he is a dairy farmer and that’s what he does.