Five farmers have been awarded funding through a program called “Back to Ag”— the funding supports the cost of adaptive technology that injured farmers or agricultural workers need to return to farming.
Created by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and supported by Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), the Back to Ag Program got underway when FCC donated $100,000 to the program following a two-week social media campaign. Individuals and other organizations also donated to the Back to Ag Program through both the RHF and the FarmSafe Foundation.
Marcel Hacault, CASA’s executive director, says that the funding “fills a need that isn’t met through insurance or government programs. This unique program is truly getting farmers Back to Ag.”
Back to Ag recipients are from across Canada, all have experienced a traumatic injury and all are actively farming. Funds will be used to modify a cattle handling system, retrofit a tractor with a lift, provide a sit-to-stand lift, modify a barn entry and purchase an accessible barn-loft staircase.
The next application period to apply for Back to Ag funding began this week, and applications will be accepted until April 24, 2015. Canadian residents who are 18 years or older, have experienced a life altering injury and are able to show their need and demonstrate how the adaptive technology will help them return to work on the farm are eligible to apply. The adaptive technology can come in the form of medical devices or accessibility tools like ramps or lifts or any other technology that will allow the producer in return to farm work.