Monsanto Fund

Helping injured farmers get Back to Ag

Submitted by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association

Yvan Bergeron knows how hard it is to keep a farm going following a farm injury. In 2011, the dairy farmer from St-Samuel, Quebec was performing maintenance on a hay wagon when his clothing got caught in a PTO. Three days later, doctors were forced to amputate his right arm just above the elbow. Yvan learned to perform major tasks with his left hand, and his mechanical prosthesis helped a great deal. But there were limits, and certain tasks became difficult and in some cases impossible to accomplish.

Yvan BergeronThat’s where the Back to Ag Program and the FarmSafe Foundation came in. The program supported the cost of several adaptations to help make farming easier for Yvan. Staircases, stepladders, and stools helped Yvan access hard-to-reach areas of his dairy farm. A garage jack made moving heavy objects possible. And as you will see in the video below, a small utility vehicle outfitted with an auger made feeding their herd 1.5 tonnes of silage a day safe and efficient.

Yvan and his wife Sophie are so excited about Back to Ag that they produced their own video documenting how Back to Ag has given Yvan a “helping hand.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHEAw368hkQ&feature=youtu.be ]

Yvan says the support of Back to Ag boosted his morale, giving him back the energy and confidence he needed to farm:

“A farmer is an enthusiast, who gets up every morning to feed the world. He is the source of a large part of the dCASAevelopment of the economy and contributes to society. Agricultural producers are often unincorporated owners who are not eligible for any program when something happens to them. Back to Ag is finally a program for us, traumatically injured farmers. Supporting Back to Ag is supporting a farmer who has limitations to continue living his passion and thus carrying on his active contribution to society.”

Thanks to Yvan and the Monsanto Fund, the FarmSafe Foundation also received a grant through Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities. This community grant program continues to help injured farmers purchase adaptive technology through Back to Ag. With the help of businesses like Monsanto, farmers can continue to do what they love – farming.