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April 2009


Minnesota AgrAbility Project sponsored a peer conference in Hutchinson, MN on March 12 & 13.  Mike Rosmann of Agri-Wellness, the keynote speaker, spoke to the 20 participants about Agriculture Behavioral  Health and how it affects the lives of the farming community.   New skills and tips on understanding and managing our own behavioral health were part of the presentations during the 1-1/2 day workshop.

Submitted by: Alvin Rasmussen

Deen Swart receives Excellence in Assistive Technology award

Deen Swart, Minnesota AgrAbility Program, has been nominated for and awarded the  STAR Award for Excellence in Assistive Technology. STAR awards are given to those individuals who exemplify excellence in use, promotion, advocacy, support, research and development, and other aspects of assistive technology in Minnesota.

The MN STAR Program (a System of Technology to Achieve Results) is located within the Minnesota Department of Administration. STAR's mission is to help all Minnesotan’s with disabilities gain access to and acquire the assistive technology they need to live, learn, work and play. The Minnesota STAR Program is federally funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Deen was nominated by Ray Griffin, Minnesota Rehab Services AT Specialist. Mr. Griffin made the nomination after working with Deen “from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast corner of the state and everywhere in-between.” He recognizes the hurdles Deen has to work though to meet the needs of the farmers. Mr. Griffin described working with Deen as a pleasure and appreciates her efficiency, “Deen always follows through and chases down needs. She’s there when you need to meet and if you have questions she’s always there to take my call and give me answers. Deen goes all out to get the job done for the farmers. She never gives up; that’s what it takes in this job.”

Deen will accept her award during a ceremony on April 14, 2009 in the State of Minnesota Capitol Rotunda. Mr. Griffin will be on hand to present the award to Deen (in fact he postponed his vacation in order to do so); the MN STAR Assistive Technology Advisory Board and Department of Administration Deputy Commissioner, Sheila Reger will be there as well to congratulate Deen.  

Submitted by: Michele Schermann