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It’s a Stretch

CHERYL TEVIS 02/12/2013 @ 11:07am Cheryl has been an editor at Successful Farming since 1979.

Planning and preparation are essential to execute critical farm operations. But few farmers ever pause to make sure their body mechanics are up to a physical task.

Lincoln, Nebraska farmer Del Ficke has learned to approach his farmwork in a more measured way, thanks to occupational therapist Anna Lewandowski.

Ficke, 45, had his first back surgery in 1999. He had been sitting in a tractor all day when he felt an excruciating pain shooting up through his legs. “I didn’t know what was wrong,” he says.

By 2003, continued pain forced him to seek help at Nebraska AgrAbility in Lincoln. “The best advice I got was to use a utility vehicle,” he says. “I don’t have to throw my leg over it. It’s a smooth ride with less vibration, and the seat is contoured. I carry everything I need in it.”

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