Not only do I put in the work on my family farm, but I also work for an aerial spraying company in the summer time when I am home from college. Aerial spraying or often called crop dusting is when airplanes are used to spray herbicides and pesticides to protect and nourish crops from the heat, bugs, and other various issues.
On an average work day my mornings begin around 4:00am. It is important for the process of aerial spraying to begin this early because this is the time where the sun begins to rise and it is also the calmest time of day normally with little to no wind at all. Aerial spraying cannot be accomplished if the wind speed is over 10 mph on the ground because in the air the wind blows at a higher speed and if a pilot were to spray under these circumstances, the chemicals would not land where they were intended to causing many problems. Check out this video on what an average spray plane looks like when the pilot is getting the job done!
I am not the person who flies the plane, however, I am in the process of getting my pilot’s license. My job is to mix the proper amounts of chemicals together in order to load them onto the spray plane. This can be a very dirty job as well as risky because of being exposed to the different types of herbicides and pesticides. If I were to handle these incorrectly, it could result in someone getting injured or crops dying. I also help in the office with billing and inventory.
A common problem that I run into working in this position is that sometimes I do not gain as much trust and respect from older farmers because I am a woman. I hear a lot that this is a “man’s job” and that I should just stay in the office to do paperwork. In all reality, I am the one who stands along with the boys pouring over 100 5lb. jugs of chemical a day and that truly adds up. I am proud that my job can help me prove those doubting me wrong.
While this job includes my daily outfit consisting of a baseball cap, a t-shirt, and a pair of jeans and a lot of hard work is put in, I would not trade it for anything.