Melissa Wallace was working on the farm with her husband, David, when a normal day ended in an accident that changed Melissa’s perspective on farming forever. It was that day that she personally experienced the dangers of farming.
Melissa and her husband were scooping and cleaning up corn by the PTO shaft on their farm. Melissa was on one side and David was on the other side of the shaft. Although her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, when Melissa leaned up, her hair laid across the PTO shaft.
“There was a safety guard, but it had slid down just enough that my hair could lay right in that exposed piece, and when it did, it ripped my hair off my head. After that, I spent 17 days in the hospital,” Melissa said.
Her recovery continued after she was released from the hospital and included a skin graft from her thigh to her skull. Although that was five years ago, that tragic accident and the lessons it brought has not been forgotten. Today, Melissa is thankful that God spared her from a worse outcome and that she is still here.
Through her accident, Melissa has learned first-hand the dangers of farming, and she wants others to take heed as well.
“I want to teach and remind young and old farmers to please practice farm safety. Just please practice farm safety,” pleaded Melissa.
Farm Safety is something that Melissa is very passionate about. She knows, all too well, how life can change in a second. Sometimes a simple action is the difference between life and death.
Despite the accident, Melissa still loves the farm life. She raises hogs on their 700-acre pasture-based farming operation with her husband and son, Darren. They also grow wheat straw, corn & soybeans.
“My husband grew up farming. I grew up farming, and when we got married, we just took on the heritage of farming,” Melissa said.
To help invest in their farm heritage, the Wallace’s are patrons of Cape Fear Farm Credit. For them, partnering with Cape Fear Farm Credit has been a way to help get through challenges. If they need financial help, Cape Fear is there. That allows the Wallace family to be able to be farmers and complete their goals.
“We have this thought that everybody’s got to eat” chuckled Melissa, “so there’s always going to be a need for a farmer.”
Farming is a dangerous job, and it comes with many challenges. However, folks like Melissa and her husband are committed to feeding their communities and the world despite the dangers and challenges. They are focused on building a rich heritage and, of course, doing so as safely as possible.