Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor tell us that tractor overturns remain the leading cause of farmer fatalities. Hence the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is launching its ROPS Rebate Program today. The program is one of seven of its kind in the U.S. It will reimburse farmers and schools at least 70 percent of the cost of purchasing, shipping and installing a rollover protection kit. The result is that the cost per tractor will be no more than $500.

The kit includes a roll bar and seat belt.

The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health began a similar program in New York. New York and six other states have successfully accomplished a 10-fold increase in tractor rollover protection installation since its inception in 2006. The NYCAMH claims that roll bars and seat belts are 99 percent effective in preventing death and serious injury in the event of a rollover.

The state of Minnesota is contributing $250,000 along with donations from private concerns such as Cargill, CHS Inc., ADM and Land O'Lakes.

Full details can be found by calling (877) 767-7748.