“This is a Godsend”
OnFocus – Glen Wendt, a dairy farmer from Lincoln County, won the drawing for a free tractor rollover protective structure (ROPS) at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days.
The ROPS drawing was part of a joint promotion by McMillan-Warner Mutual Insurance Company of Marshfield, and the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, to promote the Wisconsin ROPS Rebate Program.
“I think this is the first time I’ve ever won anything,” said an appreciative Wendt.
Wendt plans to retrofit an International 766, the tractor he uses most while farming 400 acres and milking 50 cows. Wendt and his brother, Jack, work together on the farm established by their father, Harold.
“The farm has changed quite a bit,” said Wendt, 60. “Pa started it from scratch; there wasn’t a building on this site. I took over in 1980, but Pa stayed involved. He lived to 93, and was still cutting hay at 90.”
Wendt said he’s been lucky, and has not had a serious injury. He’s glad to get rollover protection, because although, “we try to farm as safe as we can, accidents do happen.”
“This is a godsend,” said Wendt’s wife, Brenda. “It’s peace of mind, knowing that the rollbar is always going to be there, protecting.”
Wendt’s name was drawn on July 12 by Jenny Sternweis, of Sternweis Farms, which co-hosted Farm Technology Days with Weber’s Farm Store/Heiman Holsteins. Wendt said he plans to have the retrofit done at Cherokee Garage, Colby.
All Wisconsin farmers are eligible to register for the rebate program. Just call 1-877-767-7748 (1-877-ROPS-R4U), or go to www.ropsr4u.com. The program reimburses tractor owners up to 70 percent (maximum of $865) toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS. Out-of-pocket cost will depend on the make and model of tractor.
The National Farm Medicine Center established the program in 2013 with philanthropic support from the Auction of Champions, and has installed nearly 220 ROPS.
Tractor overturns are the leading cause of farm-related deaths in the U.S. A ROPS, when used with a seatbelt, is 99 percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn.