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Roll’n out the ROPS

May 7, 2010

Matt Myers comes into my office and spouts all sorts of statistics about ROPS  at me, often and in abundance.  He is also practicing his pitch of late, and why? Because he is all jazzed up about the Roll Over Protection Structure (roll bar and seatbelt) Retrofit Program  that will be rolled out in September.  No pun intended,  and because he is all jazzed up and passionate about the program,  it is easy to get excited about it too.

Here are his words: ( here is the windup….)

Few people know that farmers are 8 times more likely to die on the job then the average worker  and that tractor rollovers account for a majority of these tragedies.  And yet, if you equip your ’68 Deer, or just about any older tractor with a roll bar and seat belt kit, it provides 99% protection to the farmer from rollover death or serious injury.    These ROPS kits cost on average, $800, but our VT ROPS Retrofit Program will cover 75% of the cost!  This is a pretty good deal when you consider the average rollover death costs the family and society $910,000!

and he wants to say a couple more things. ( and here’s the  pitch…)

I like to see rollover protection as a key practice in sustainability.  Seven of ten farms that experience a rollover death are out of business within one year!   No Farmer, No Farm!  So please consider taking advantage of our program when we launch in the end of September.  Also we need support.  Consider sponsoring this program, get statewide recognition in our media campaign and feel good about saving the life of a farmer! 

Matt is working on a four-year grant and has lined up sponsors  and getting focus groups together.   Because I am looking at tractors and out in the field, sometimes quite literally, Matt and I collaborate and brainstorm.  And because the Farm Safe Blog is a great tool to get the message out, Matt has wanted space for some words. Monday is a road trip down to Middlebury and the home office of The Co-Operative Insurance Companies, a major cornerstone sponsor of the retro-fit program.  I get to go to talk about social media and farm safety.  On the way down I am sure we will be talking stats and looking for tractors that need to have ROPS.

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