Senator James Seward announced today that he secured a $250,000 state grant that will go toward the rollover protection structures program, or as they call it, ROPS.
This rollbar can potentially save lives. And ROPS is doing what it can so that our local farmers can have access to this safety feature
"What this rebate program does is help farmers who are still using those older tractors, 1960s, 70s, put this rollbar on their tractor," said Rebecca Russell, ROPS Hotline Coordinator.
Russell said the program rebates over 70 percent of the original cost of the safety kits, which can be up to $1,200. Senator James Seward says agriculture is New York State's top industry and it's important to keep the trade and our farmers alive.
"Anything we can do to help with the financial burdens they face while at the same time improving farm safety," said Senator James Seward.
Seward said tractors manufactured after 1985 are required to have the rollbar. But it's not the newer models he's worried about.
"It's those older tractors that we're targeting under this program, and there are still a lot of them out there and with this additional money, we can get more and more of them retrofitted," Seward said.
Seward said nearly 20 potential fatalities or injuries have been prevented because of this program.
Here's how the feature works.
"If the tractor were to tip over backwards, the rollbar would save it from going completely back onto the operator. if it was to tip sideways, it would then stop it from doing a complete rollover," Russell said.
Russell said she gets a thank you almost every day from farmers who are interested in or have gotten help from ROPS.
"One gentleman said, I'm doing this for my daughter and I said oh that's really nice you know she must be like 16, 17, and he was like nope she was just born, I want her to have a father," Russell said.
To enroll in the ROPS Program, farmers can call their 1-877 number or they can visit the link below.