Disabled Brenham farmer gets new tractor

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by KBTX Staff

khou.com

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 6:54 PM

BRENHAM --  A paralyzed hay farmer in Brenham is back on his tractor this weekend thanks to a organization that makes equipment for farmers with disabilities.

The organization is called AgrAbility, and they help agriculture workers across the country.

Three years ago, a spinal injury left Preston Northrup paralyzed from the thighs down.

"What I always worked with was my muscles, now I have to use my head to figure out how to do everything," said Northrup.

However, things are getting easier thanks to AgrAbility and some eager volunteers from A&M Consolidated High School.

Chase Edwards and Ryan Bouse started working on the project this summer.

"We videotaped him getting onto his tractor before making the modifications, and noticed a few areas where we thought we could improve," said Edwards, a rising junior in high school.

The enhanced tractor is designed to give Northrup some of his independence back. There are lower steps, and Northrup will be able to control the tractor using his arms.

It only took the volunteers a week of work to make a tractor that will change a man's life. It will only cost Northrup roughly $30, according to an AgrAbility spokesperson.

"You put in all this work and then you see it all come together, its amazing," said Edwards.

Edwards says he joined the project because he likes mechanics, but the experience has made him a better person.

AgrAbility is a program sponsored by the U-S Department of Agriculture.

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