Success Stories: Dennis Martin

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“Thank you is not enough words.” Those were the first words TNAP staff member Joetta T. White heard as she exited her truck after TNAP customer Dennis Martin (livestock producer from Wayne County, TN) had used his new Polaris UTV for two weeks. Mr. Martin received his UTV in May 2021, not for recreational purposes but as a farm tool. He stated: “This is a necessary farm tool for me; not like the ones I see running up and down the road for recreational purposes.” With the assistance of TN AgrAbility, Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and Disability Rights Tennessee, Mr. Martin now has his LARGE toolbox that travels with him everywhere on his farm. Megan Harris, UT Extension Wayne County ANR agent, has been a help to Mr. Martin as well. She helped Dennis gather dirt for his soil samples. Since he had trouble using the soil sample probe due to gripping issues, Megan came to the rescue.

“He had to show me all the compartments and everything he had in each one and the bed of the UTV had ALL his fencing tools,” stated Joetta White. Before receiving his UTV, Mr. Dennis would have to use his tractor and put all his equipment in the bucket, and driving over the terrain, if he hit a bump, some tool would fall out. After an accident in 1977 that left him with mobility issues, the UTV will be an essential farm tool. “What brought tears to my eyes,” Joetta said, “was when he said he mentioned to his wife that if anything ever happened to him, the UTV was to be given to a farmer that had physical challenges in order to help him or her on their farm.”.