Returning to the Field: One Farmer’s Ultimate Test

November 18, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) William Meyer has spent his life working on his family’s farm in Palmer, Nebraska. They raise corn, alfalfa, and have over 10,000 head of feedlot cattle. He grew up just like any other farm kid- in the field, in the barn, and in the pasture.

Being part of a family farm is far and away from being easy. It requires a positive attitude and strong work ethic. There’s always work to be done, whether that be feeding cattle, checking fence rows, working the ground, repairing equipment, bailing hay...the list of responsibilities is infinite. To do these things, famers not only have to mentally able, but physically able.

On March 7th, 2015, William was involved in a serious automobile accident. His vehicle rolled 5 times, and he was eventually thrown out into the nearby corn field. His injuries were substantial, leaving him paralyzed from the mid-chest, down. After he spent 10 days in the hospital, he transferred to the Madonna Rehabilitation Center where he began an intense journey through physical therapy. William went from his normal 70 hour work week to 4 hours in therapy every day.

The very qualities William possesses through his work in agriculture are what enabled him to emerge victorious in this life altering set-back.

“I’ve never been associated with anyone that has the drive and the attitude that William has,” says Rod Peterson, Nebraska AgrAgility rural rehabilitation specialist.

Peterson continues, “The first time we met him he said, ‘Ya know, I’ve accepted what’s happened. I’m gonna make the best of what I’ve got.’ And when we showed him what assistive technology could be available to him, he was even more encouraged, and I think that really solidified his drive.”

Along with Rod and the team at AgrAbility, Nebraska VR Employment Specialist JD Simmons, and ATP’s Technology Specialist Roxanne Rowley worked together to identify the assistive technology to help William succeed. #PathwayToEmployment #InclusionWorks

Watch the clip above to see William’s progress.

Watch the FULL video, produced by Nebraska VR, which is an employment program for people who experience a disability.