Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a state funding proposal of $250,000 to enhance farm safety measures across the state.
The Governor and Lt. Governor’s proposal includes three complementary approaches to address farm safety. Specifically, the funds will:
1. Relaunch the Tractor Rollover Protection Grant Program, originally created by Minnesota Statute 17.119. Once reinstated, the program reimburses farmers who retrofit eligible tractors with rollover protective structures.
2. Create a cost-share or reimbursement program for farmers who wish to invest in grain bin safety equipment.
3. Conduct a farm safety outreach campaign highlighting tractor safety and grain bin safety and promoting the availability of this funding.
Thousands of farmers, family members, and farm workers are injured, and hundreds die in farming accidents every year in the United States. Although only about 2% of Minnesota’s workforce is engaged in agriculture, it accounted for more than 30% of workplace fatalities in 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At least ten people have died in farming-related accidents in Minnesota since June 2019. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources consistently cite tractors (including rollovers, entanglements, collisions, etc.) as the most common cause of death on farms nationally.