Special Adaptations Allow Farmer with Cerebral Palsy to Grow Successful Business

Harlan K. Temple, a successful businessman and farmer, and his wife Rita Temple are residents of Davis, South Dakota. Together, they run a 230-acre farm. Corn, soybeans, and alfalfa are the crops of choice on this massive land plot.

Mr. Temple is hardly your typical farmer, however. Temple has cerebral palsy on his left side, which affects his strength and ability to move freely around his land. Special modifications to his tractor, including a Blue Hitch, repositioned hydro lever, toggle switches, and additional mirrors have been made in order to accommodate his limited movement. His family and friends help with the maintenance on the machine.

Temple uses a powered wheelchair to get around the farm. On top of being a farmer, he is also a successful independent insurance agent. When talking about his successes, Temple has this to say:

“I handle all kinds of insurance—life, health, crop, property—and have been in business since 1964. I have also been blessed by God and the support of good friends and family, each of which has made a huge difference in my ability to remain independent.”

Not one to stay idle, he and his wife have also offered up their farm for the last 9 years as a site for teaching occupational therapy classes. The farm is uniquely suited to help students learn about the difficulties facing farmers and how they relate to occupational therapy. Given South Dakota's large farmer and rancher population, the lessons are necessary to serve the local disabled population. By examining the modifications and adaptive strategies that the Temples have employed, they can better understand how to adapt these methods for others. Over the years, over 150 occupational therapy students have visited the farm.

Mr. Temple is very humble about his successes:

“God has blessed us in so many ways that we wanted to share our blessings by leaving a legacy with occupational therapy students for their education.”

Temple and his wife set up an endowment that offers financial assistance to occupational therapy students from South Dakota. The endowment will help assist residents of South Dakota in pursuing occupational therapy education in their home state, which should help to increase the availability of these services. Students must be enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy educational program within the State of South Dakota that is a member of the South Dakota Occupational Therapy Association to qualify.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that can be the effect of an injury at birth. The therapies and modifications associated with cerebral palsy can be extraordinarily expensive. If you suspect that your child has been the victim of medical malpractice at birth, it may be necessary to retain the services of a Chicago birth injury attorney from Beam Legal Team.

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