Read about Yvan's journey back to the job he loves, thanks to the #BackToAg initiative!
Back to Ag: Yvan’s return to the job after injury
Back to Ag: Yvan’s return to the job after injury
On October 30, 2011, Yvan was doing maintenance on the hay wagon when his clothing got caught on a small bolt on a rotating shaft. Yvan stiffened in order to resist it while his 14-year old daughter ran to stop the PTO, but in just a few seconds his clothing was torn off and his right arm suffered badly.

Three days later, his arm had to be amputated just above the elbow.

Even after changing the dominance of arms (becoming left-handed when Yvan was right-handed before), the carrying out of simple tasks is often longer and more complex to accomplish with one hand only, and certain tasks will always be difficult and some even impossible.

Above image: Yvan at his farm.

His mechanical prosthesis helps him a great deal, but it will never be able to replace his arm and hand.

The integrity of the shoulder and the remaining arm (the left) must be preserved. So as much as possible all repetitive tasks, including the raising of the arms, etc, must be limited to avoid the overuse of the upper left arm.

Physically, the actions of transporting, moving, lifting, grasping, releasing, manipulating, reaching, climbing and positioning himself will always demand more effort for Yvan and they will be limited.

Many jobs on the farm are therefore directly affected.

Above image: Yvan at his farm.

With time, some work methods were developed, and some simple and inexpensive solutions were created to help Yvan to do even more in spite of his new limitations.

Numerous recommendations (from the recommendations report of the occupational therapist) were suggested by an occupational therapist.

And today, thanks to Back to Ag, we have finally been able implement several new adaptations which all give a “helping hand” to Yvan in his carrying out of some tasks on the farm, thus giving him a greater sense of value at work.

Recommendation #6*:

Above image: Yvan at his farm.

Since the use of vertical ladders or those attached to the wall are impossible for him, we had stairs with banisters installed in 2 of our farm buildings so that Yvan can from now on have access to the haylofts where hay, straw and shavings are stored.

  • In the cowshed, the space is very limited; the solution chosen was the installation of an aluminum pull-out staircase, light and sturdy, with a railing on each side. Its simplicity and light weight allow Yvan to unfold it, set it up and put it back himself. What a pleasure to finally be able to go up to the loft again after 3 ½ years!!!
  • In the heifer barn, two permanent metal (used) staircases were installed so that Yvan can gain access to the two lofts and their contents. One for the front barn and one for the rear barn.
  • Other recommendations: The purchase of a small metal 2-step step stool, to facilitate access to the table which raises Yvan to reduce the range of motion needed to put the hay bale in the bale cutter.

Recommendation #13*:

Above image: Yvan at his farm.

The purchase of a platform stepladder and its adaptation by adding larger wheels to facilitate its movements (floor surface is gravel) in the garage and around the machinery is the 8th wonder of the world to Yvan.

This platform stepladder in the garage, in addition to making him more independent, facilitates and makes all raised operations of maintenance and repair secure. Certainly some new tasks can be safely added.

Recommendation #2*:

Above image: Yvan at his farm.

The garage jack helps Yvan in certain movements to carry or support some heavier objects.

It also allows him to free his remaining hand in order to be able to perform tasks requiring two hands (for example, the installation of a large PTO).

The jack was also adapted with large wheels to be easily handled on a gravel yard.


”As a certain slogan says so well, ‘No food without agriculture’, but it would also be so true to add ‘and no agriculture without the farmer!’

Months have passed since the accident and we are still as sure as ever that we want to continue to experience passionately the finest profession in the word on our ancestral Bergeron dairy farm.

Yvan will always stay in ‘adaptation’ mode to a certain extent. Whether it is small home-made fabrications or large technological advances, we are always somewhat in ‘research’ mode in order to facilitate and improve the working conditions and various tasks for Yvan.

After numerous unsuccessful appeals for some form of financial aid for Yvan. Finally Back to Ag is for us manna from heaven and we will always be extremely grateful for it.

Thank you so much!!! Yvan, Sophie, Ariane and Vincent xxxx”

Category: Impact Stories

Tags: #BackToAg

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