ST. PAUL, Minn – Minnesota farmers now have an easier way to get tractor safety equipment thanks to a new program that will improve farm safety. The ROPS Rebate Program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 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.
“This program provides an easy, accessible resource that will allow farmers to make needed improvements and upgrades to their tractors, which will improve safety on the farm and help reduce the threat of farm accidents,” said Senator Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin), the chief author of the original bill (SF 2701). “I hope that this program can go a long way towards bringing the number of tractor rollover accidents down to zero.”
According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, tractor overturns remain the leading cause of farmer fatalities. 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.
For questions on this or any legislation, please contact Sen. Sparks at (651) 296-9248 or by email at email@example.com.