Veteran Farm Hero Overcomes ALS Challenges with JCB Teleskid: A Story of Resilience, Freedom, and Farming
SAVANNAH, GA, November 8, 2023 – Luke Liggett, a sixth-generation farmer and former Navy Boatswain's Mate, has defied the odds and continued his life's passion despite facing the debilitating effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). His journey, from serving in the Navy to sustaining a family farm, is a testament to his unwavering spirit and the assistance of JCB's Teleskid, a skid steer loader that has revolutionized his ability to contribute to the farm's operations.
Liggett’s remarkable story begins with his service in the Navy, where he played a pivotal role in ship maintenance and navigation, all while assisting with leadership. Despite the camaraderie and diverse experiences, Liggett often found himself reminiscing about his home, missing the farm and longing for his cherished moments of solitude.
When Liggett was diagnosed with ALS, his active farm life was brought to an abrupt halt. His physical limitations prevented him from using tractors and performing the strenuous tasks required for the operation. However, Liggett’s resilience shone through as he transitioned to a new role, serving as the brain behind the farm's operations, guiding his father and brother-in-law.
A turning point in Luke's journey came when he discovered JCB's Teleskid, a skid steer loader with a telescopic boom and a side entry door. This innovative equipment allowed Liggett to regain his freedom on the farm, providing access to various areas and enabling him to perform tasks that were once impossible. When asked about the impact of the Teleskid, Liggett exclaimed, "You'd have to take a picture of me in it to put that into words, but probably, freedom. Because the farm is freedom. Being able to get around in a skid steer makes me feel free again." Liggett’s face lights up when he talks about the Teleskid, emphasizing the feeling of freedom it gives him, enabling him to navigate the farm with ease.
Living with ALS presents significant challenges. Liggett shared, "Everything is incredibly difficult – speaking, having a conversation, talking on the phone. It's very hard for people to understand me." However, the JCB Teleskid has provided him with newfound independence and the ability to contribute to farm life once more.
Liggett’s dealer played a vital role in setting him up with the Teleskid, demonstrating the equipment's capabilities and ensuring it met his specific needs. Liggett also praised the JCB team for their exceptional service, promptly addressing any issues that arose, including a minor leak and modifications to the bucket to improve functionality.
The Teleskid's intuitive controls and improved visibility have made a significant difference in Liggett’s daily tasks, making farming more accessible and efficient. Liggett expressed gratitude for his dealer, Stephenson Equipment JCB, stating, "Harry was great and very responsive. He put a lot of effort into making this happen for me. I'm very appreciative."
Liggett wholeheartedly recommends the JCB Teleskid to other farmers, citing “the telescopic boom and wider tracks help me stay in action and prevents the equipment from getting stuck. The JCB motor is very nice, and I believe it got the award for longest lasting."
When asked about the significance of being able to contribute to the farm despite his physical limitations, Liggett said, "It's incredible to help out and do farm work, and once you do that, it gets in your blood. I'm a sixth-generation farmer, so it feels really good."
In closing, Liggett offered words of encouragement to others facing challenges: "Don't give up. Find a way to do what you love."
Liggett’s story is one of resilience, determination, and the power of innovative equipment. JCB's Teleskid has given him the freedom to continue pursuing his passion for farming, embodying the spirit of overcoming adversity and finding solutions even in the face of ALS.
"Don't give up. Find a way to do what you love." -- Luke Liggett