Farm Serves as Occupational Therapy Education Site As Well As Impetus for
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
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
medical malpractice at birth, it may be necessary to retain the services of a Chicago birth
injury attorney from Beam & Raymond.