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MDA launches new farm safety program to prevent tractor roll-overs

Reimbursement available for tractor roll bars and seatbelts

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota farmers now have access to a new program that makes tractor safety equipment affordable and simple to order. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) kicked off its ROPS Rebate Program today, one of seven programs of its kind in the United States. It reimburses farmers and schools at least 70 percent of the cost of purchasing, shipping, and installing a rollover protection kit—a roll bar and seatbelt—limiting applicants’ cost per tractor to no more than $500. It also provides help to farmers with identifying and pricing the appropriate rollover kits for their tractors.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, tractor overturns remain the leading cause of farmer fatalities.

“As a former farmer, I know all too well the safety shortcuts we take to get the farm work done,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Rollover protection devices on tractors are highly effective in protecting farmers if they take the steps to install and use them on their equipment. This new ROPS Rebate program will save lives and reduce serious injuries in Minnesota as farmers step forward to participate in the program.”

Minnesota’s program is administered by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), the organization behind a similar program in New York and six other states that has successfully accomplished a ten-fold increase in tractor rollover protection installation since the program’s inception in 2006. Cost and difficulty ordering the appropriate equipment were identified by NYCAMH as the two key barriers to getting rollover protection on tractors.

NYCAMH says roll bars and seat belts are 99 percent effective in preventing death and serious injury in the event of a rollover.

The program is the result of a public private partnership with the State contributing $250,000 and private donations provided by Cargill, CHS, Inc., ADM, and Land O’Lakes.

Farmers or schools may call toll-free 877-ROPS-R4U (877-767-7748) for more information or to register for a rollover kit.


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