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State Lawmakers Push for Funding Tractor Rollbar Rebates
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/02/2018

Supporters of a bill that would have funded the Wisconsin farm tractor Rollover Protective Structure Rebate program say it's too late for the measure to become law during the current legislative session, but hope the concept could be added as a provision in the 2019 state budget. Rep. Bob Kulp of Stratford and Sen. Patrick Testin from Stevens Point had introduced the concept earlier this year. It then passed through both the Assembly and Senate agricultural committees, but failed to get a vote on the floor of the Legislature.

"This program makes Wisconsin farms safer," Kulp said. "It's very positive that the bill made it through both committees this year, but we'll need at least one more big push to get it signed into law. This is something Wisconsin farmers need."

According to the National Farm Medicine Center, which is based at the Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin would have joined New York and Minnesota as the only states to fund rebates for rollbar retrofits.

"Central Wisconsin donors have been very generous, funding ROPS retrofits in more than 30 Wisconsin counties," said NFMC Scientist Barbara Marlenga, who is the director of the Wisconsin ROPS Rebate Program. "But additional funding is needed, or we'll have to shut the program down at a time when so many farmers are struggling financially with low commodity prices."

A ROPS helps prevent injury or death in the event of an overturn. All Wisconsin farmers are eligible to apply for the rebate program, which reimburses up to 70 percent toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS.

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