An International 1466 tractor in Plymouth County, Iowa, before and after ROPS installation. In addition to the ROPS, the owner added a canopy and steps with a hand rail.

Despite what some outside the Midwest might think, there really is no “typical” farmer. You can find growers of crops ranging from paw paws to carrots to soybeans. Some farmers have a few head of heritage-breed livestock, others a few thousand hogs.

One thing they all share is tractors, and many likely have a pre-1985 tractor still in regular use. This commonality matters because it’s also likely that a tractor built before 1985 lacks a Rollover Protective System (ROPS), which includes a rollbar and a seat belt, that could save a life if the tractor rolls over.

Brandi Janssen, PhD, directs Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Iowa.