Injured Farmers Urged to Apply for the Back to Ag Program

Winnipeg, MB November 12, 2015: The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) in partnership with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Back to Ag Program.

The Back to Ag Program provides funding to support the cost of adaptive technology to Canadian farmers that have experienced a traumatic injury. “CASA is thrilled that through Back to Ag, we can help injured farmers return to farm work safely and productively,” says Glen Blahey, CASA’s Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist.

This marks the third round of funding made available to injured farmers. 

”FCC employees are part of many rural communities, so we know how important it is to lend a helping hand after a farm accident has caused serious injury,” says Sophie Perreault, FCC executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “There is nothing better than to see someone return from injury to lead a full and productive life in the industry we love and support.”

Eleven projects across Canada have already been supported by the Back to Ag Program, including adaptive technology like a sit to stand wheelchair, modifications to stairs and livestock handling facilities, and lifts.  Recipients have been from six provinces in Canada. One of those recipients is Dan Moore from Sanford, Ontario.

In November 2013, Dan experienced a traumatic injury while he was cleaning out a silo on his dairy operation. “I stepped back, felt a tug on my leg and was quickly pulled into the silo unloader,” says Dan.

Dan lost both of his arms in the incident. His traumatic injury affected the farming operation dramatically. “I decided to not to continue with the dairy farm operation,” says Dan. “It was too labour intensive, milking seven days a week. It’s just my wife, daughter and I and it was too much to manage.”

However, through hard work and perseverance, Dan and his wife Sarah have continued to farm. “Dan has always had a passion for field work,” says Sarah. “Farming is who Dan is.”

However, Dan’s physical condition meant changing how they farm, and that’s where Back to Ag came in. “We found out that there were many jobs that Dan was not able to do with our large tractor due to its size,” says Sarah. “We need a small tractor that Dan can handle with his prosthesis.”  With help from the Back to Ag Program, Dan and Sarah were able to purchase a tractor better suited to Dan’s needs.

Both Dan and Sarah are passionate when talking about Back to Ag. ”Back to Ag was a like a door opening,” says Sarah. “It helped us get our farm back to where it was before Dan was hurt.”

“It helped us better ourselves,” adds Dan. “The assistive technology has enabled me do things that I couldn’t do because of my injury.”

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, a Canadian resident, have experienced a traumatic injury and are able to show their need and demonstrate how the adaptive technology will help them to return to work on the farm.

Applications will be accepted until December 21, 2015. For more information or to apply please visit casa-acsa.ca and click on Grants, call CASA at 877 452 2272 or email backtoag@casa-acsa.ca.

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and safety of farmers, their families and agricultural workers. CASA is funded in part by Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative and receives additional support from the agricultural and corporate sectors. For more information, visit www.casa-acsa.ca, find us on Facebook or LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter @planfarmsafety.

About Farm Credit Canada

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $27 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and its role in feeding an ever-growing world. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and agri-food industry. Our profits are reinvested back into agriculture and the communities where our customers and employees live and work. Visit fcc.ca or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Twitter @FCCagriculture

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For more information contact:

Robin Anderson
Communications Officer
CASA/ACSA
1- 877-452-2272