MAYSVILLE, Mo. – Farmers with disabilities often fear they'll be unable to continue their way of life.
But a small group of dedicated volunteers is helping some disabled farmers with specially trained dogs.
PHARM Dog USA — or Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri — trains border collies and other dogs to help with chores specifically tailored to a farmer's needs. The dogs also provide emotional support and companionship.
The group currently operates on a shoestring budget in four Midwestern states. Founder Jackie Allenbrand hopes to someday expand nationwide.
One client, Alda Owen, raises Angus cattle with her husband in northwest Missouri and is legally blind. She received a border collie named Sweet Baby Jo in 2012 and says it has "made it possible for me to be a productive person."