BARRON, Wis. - The terrain is rough on a dairy farm. It’s rougher still when you have cerebral palsy.
Brandon Skinner knows a thing or two about rough roads from his weekly visits to the farm of family friends Denton and Amy Hanson, where he’s training three lambs from his wheelchair to show at the Barron County Fair.
The terrain doesn’t get any easier at the fair.
“When we get out in the ring, the ring is like sawdust chips,” Brandon says. “I couldn't spin last year because I was getting stuck in the ring.
Brandon’s parents feel their 4-H member's frustration, in the show ring and elsewhere. “He gets so frustrated when he gets left behind or he can't do what he wants to do,” says Jeff Skinner, Brandon’s father.
Brandon just needs to be on the right track.
After a lot of thought, and some hesitation, last week Brandon started a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to purchase a tracked wheelchair.
He has experience with such a chair, having borrowed one from the Hudson Rod & Gun Club for a deer hunting trip, during which he experienced the possibilities of higher clearance and two snowmobile-like tracks in place of wheels.
“It just makes life a lot easier and makes it so I can do a few more things,” Brandon said.
The chair would allow Brandon to more easily show his sheep, hunt, ice fish and explore the outer reaches of the farm.
“He did all the research on the cost of the chair by himself,” said Lisa Skinner, Brandon’s mom.
The road for Brandon is rough but he's hoping for a little help to get where he's going.