MONTICELLO, Minn. (FOX 9) - A few years ago when Zeke Berg saw a kid in a wheelchair trying to navigate the corn maze at his farm, Fresh Acres, he reached out to a local all-terrain wheelchair retailer that offered to donate a chair for the fall season.
The chairs are called Action Trackchairs and they’re made by a company based in Marshall, MN. The chair has tracks instead of wheels, a suspension to handle rough terrain and is operated by a joystick. The chair has five different speeds and can go up to three miles per hour.
Ten-year-old Emme Kersten is visiting Fresh Acres for the second weekend in a row to drive the all-terrain chair through the corn maze and says she enjoys the independence it brings her.
"Because I can just drive it by myself," Emme said.
Her parents say they happened upon the chair because their older daughter’s band, The Rogers School of Music Rock Band, performed at Fresh Acres one weekend and they saw the chair available for use.
"We drove separately and last weekend I got here first and saw and sent a picture immediately and was like ‘you’re never going to believe what’s here for her to use,’" Emme’s dad Adam Kersten said.
Her parents say she was hesitant at first, but once she got the hang of it, Emme navigated the ups, downs, bumps, curves and mud of the corn maze.
"It was so awesome for her to be able to access the corn maze but also be able to do it independently. In all of those other ways she relies on us so for her to be able to do it completely by herself, that was pretty special for her and for us," Emme’s mom Jessica Kersten said.
Berg says he each weekend he’s been open this season people have been experiencing the wheelchair and enjoying the corn maze in a way they otherwise couldn’t.
"It’s nice to offer this opportunity for people. It’s about getting the whole family out and enjoying the outdoors and fall festivities where a lot of times they may not be able to do that because the environment is not wheelchair friendly," Berg said.
The chair is being loaned to Fresh Acres by a retailer from Avon, MN, Sand Pine Pheasants. If you are interested in using the wheelchair, Berg recommends calling ahead to make a reservation.