Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Craig, a Navy veteran living in Nebraska, was a 57 year old rancher who was ready to give it up when he was referred to the Nebraska AgrAbility program by his children and someone involved with the program.
Craig’s wife, father, and grown children helped him on the ranch when they could, but difficulty with his own job duties due to a back injury, heart attack, diabetes, and hearing impairment made ranching a challenge. Craig owned cow/calf pairs along with pasture ground, grassland, and alfalfa. He credits the AgrAbility program for giving him a positive attitude toward sticking with the family ranch.
“It improved my bottom line with my equity and has let me get back out to work with Dad and Son, which has brightened my day and attitude towards life,” stated Craig. “This program was a God send.”
Equipment recommended by Specialist Emily Freudenburg included:
- An enclosed side-by-side to replace his ATV, which was creating a risk of secondary injury to his back. It eliminated pressure on his back and shoulder joints, and provided an enclosed space during cold weather to help with his diabetic issues.
- A suspension tractor seat with swivel to replace his standard tractor seat. The air ride seat provides cushion and absorbs shock from rough terrain, thus alleviating the pressure that is put on Craig’s back. With the swivel converter, the chair twists and turns to the left and right, so that Craig does not have to twist his back into these positions.
- A skid steer with bucket, pallet forks, and post hole digger to serve a variety of purposes and replace labor-intensive tasks.
Craig’s experience with Nebraska AgrAbility prompted him to offer this advice. “Anyone wanting to improve or continue the ag way, this program is for you.”