Injured Farmer Receives Helpful Companion


Independence is something that many of us take for granted every day, but debilitating diseases and injuries can strike at anytime.

For long-time farmer Troy Balderston, it affected not only his job, but his way of life.

"I was in a car accident three years ago that paralyzed me from the chest down. I'm what they call a paraplegic," he explained.

With months of rehabilitation behind him, Balderston has since gotten back out working where he feels most at home.

And with the help from Nebraska AgrAbility and the P.H.A.R.M Dog project, he now has an extra "four legs" in the pasture.

"He will help me move the cattle up from pin to pin. He'll help me out in the pastures moving cows from pasture to pasture, or to the working facility," shared Balderston.

The P.H.A.R.M Dog project was started by Missouri woman and AgrAbility Specialist, Jackie Allenbrand.

The program which is funded completely off of donations has been going strong for eight years now.

Balderston's new companion, Duke, is the first dog to be placed in Nebraska, and they hope he's not the last.

"We usually get referrals. I've made contacts with other AgrAbility states and just kind of network and find placements that way. Word of mouth is a big way to spread that," Allenbrand says.

Nebraska AgrAbility, along with projects like P.H.A.R.M Dog are not only getting farmers and ranchers back to work, but aiding in the healing process as well.

Reporters Notes: For more information on P.H.A.R.m Dog or to donate visit their website: