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UVM Extension Launches 30-day Campaign to Assist 35 Vermont Farm Families With Vermont Rebates for Roll Bars Program

picture of farmer

Burlington, VT - UVM Extension has announced a 30-day crowd-funding campaign on http://www.Indiegogo.com/vtfarmer that allows Vermonters to come together in a unique way to preserve the lifestyle they have come to love. The official launch will take place on Thursday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m. at Pete’s Equipment, Sales and Service in Morrisville. The public is invited to attend.

The Vermont Rebates for Roll Bars Program is seeking to raise $23,100 by December 10 to prevent 35 Vermont farm families from the leading cause of death and serious injury – the tractor rollover. Rebate funds will enable these families, currently on a wait list, to install life-saving roll bar kits that provide 99% protection from crushing tractor rollovers.

Several companies have already pledged to help Raise the Bar, with a $660 donation equivalent to one Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS) or roll bar. Pete’s Equipment, Rock Art Brewery and Co-Operative Insurance all understand the importance of this program and are encouraging other like businesses and individuals to become a part of protecting farmers’ lives.   Those donating may receive fun incentives at several gift levels starting at $15.

The Vermont Rebates for Roll Bars Program launched in September 2010 as a response to these staggering facts:

  • Farmers are 800% more likely to die on the job than the average worker.
  • Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of farmer deaths, with the Northeast having the highest rate of rollover fatalities.
  • Seven out of ten farms go out of business within one year of a fatal overturn.
  • The estimated cost to society of a lost farm is at minimum of $910,000.
  • Roll bar kits are 99% effective in preventing fatal tractor rollovers.

Since the program launched, 331 farmers have called the informational hotline and 126 of these have already installed ROPS on their tractors. There are still 35 families waiting to install ROPS, but are unable to afford it without this rebate program, as it covers approximately 70% of the cost. All new tractors sold since 1985 are equipped with roll bars, but it is estimated that half of Vermont tractors remain unprotected. 

Tractors are the vital piece of farm equipment used on a daily basis to bring a bounty of food and products to the community. In Vermont, people are proud of using local products; restaurants, spas, markets and grocery stores all take pride in offering local Vermont Products. Should one of the farms go out of business, then the produce from the farm is stripped away from the community and a piece of Vermont is forever lost.

Monetary support from this campaign will go directly to farmers in the form of rebates to install life-saving roll bars. Go to http://www.Indiegogo.com/vtfarmer to donate. Every dollar helps protect a life, save a farm and preserve Vermont.

For more information on ROPS Program or how to get involved visit http://www.ROPSR4U.com or contact Matt Myers, ROPS Coordinator, at 802-888-4972 or 802-661-8473.

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