A disability can be difficult for anyone to handle, but it can prove especially challenging for farmers. Jackie Allenbrand, founder of Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri (PHARM), made it her mission to make farm life a little easier for those who need assistance.
Based out of Stanbury, Missouri, PHARM sets disabled farmers up with service dogs to assist with everyday activities. Volunteers like Allenbrand work hard to find the right dog for the right person and make sure the animal will fit on their operation.
These four-legged ranch hands are more than just a companion. Herding cattle, keeping handlers safe and alerting others in times of crisis make these animals not only man’s best friend, but also a lifesaving tool.
Alda Owen of Maysville, Missouri, has worked alongside her PHARM’er for the past five years. Owen, who is legally blind, uses her border collie, Sweet Baby Jo, to protect and guide her around her beef operation.
In Kingston, Missouri, Bruce Trammell has his lab, Odie, help him pick up buckets, rakes and even cordless drills on his ranch. Trammell, who suffered a head injury due to a heavy machinery accident, was given Odie and is comforted by his presence.
Reaching further than Missouri, PHARM has helped land service animals in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa as well.
For more on this, listen to the AgriTalk segment with Host, Chip Flory.
To help other disabled farmers be matched with service animals, donate here.