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Easter Seals offers assistance to injured farmers

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Farmers who have been injured can get assistance getting around their homes and equipment through the Easter Seals.
Farmers who have been injured can get assistance getting around their homes and equipment through the Easter Seals.

One fact of life facing those who use agricultural equipment is that they could get permanently injured while taking care of things on the farm.

However, a recent story from Kansas' High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal notes that a program offered through Easter Seals can provide assistance to farmers whose injuries may leave them incapacitated. The organization's Rural Solutions program provides a number of services, including retrofitting homes and farm equipment to accommodate those with disabilities.

"The award-winning program was founded by Easter Seals Iowa in 1986, and has been replicated in 30 states around the country," Sherri Nielsen, president and CEO of the organization in the Buckeye State, said.

One man who was helped through the program was Craig Smith, an Iowa farmer who injured himself while repairing a roof with his father. The fall gave him a spinal cord injury that made him a paraplegic.

Through the program, a tractor lift was created for Smith, which allows him to continue to use agricultural equipment on his family's farm.

Though programs like Rural Solutions offer assistance, farmers would be better off avoiding injury in the first place. While using farm equipment or making repairs, producers should make sure they take the proper precautions, including not exiting a farm vehicle while it's still running.
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