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October 2009

National AgrAbility Project News

The NAP team wishes to thank all who made the 2009 Grand Rapids NTW as success. We appreciate all the efforts of the NTW planning committee and especially Michigan AgrAbility's work in coordinating onsite events. Special thanks to all our speakers, including keynote Jim Gibbons and plenary session speaker Val Farmer, plus our breakout session presenters, many of whom were AgrAbility staff members. We look forward to seeing many of you at next year's NTW.

An Arthritis and Agriculture website is being created by Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility Project Coordinator at the Arthritis Foundation-Indiana Chapter, with design help by Galvin Creative Technology. More

Paul Jones recently represented AgrAbility at the APRIL conference in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. More

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


September was a busy month for the California AgrAbility staff in regard to public awareness activities. More

Working with the Arthritis Foundation, Cal AgrAbility assisted in developing a 3-week training module with PowerPoint for Spanish language consumers. More


Colorado AgrAbility built a wheelchair-accessible hoop house and two covered, raised beds for a client.More

Colorado AgrAbility designed an assistive device for a cattle rancher with dyslexia to help him with the task of writing checks independently. More


September 1-3, 2009 the Breaking New Ground Outreach Program, the National AgrAbility Project, Purdue Health and Safety, the HOSTA project, and the Indiana Rural Health and Safety Council provided and staffed displays at the 2009 Farm Progress Show at Decatur, Illinois. More

September 15, 16, and 17, 2009 the National AgrAbility Project staffed a display at the 5th National Small Farm Conference in Springfield, Illinois. More

The National AgrAbility Project and the Breaking New Ground Outreach Program were guests of the Ohio AgrAbility Project and presented displays on September 22, 23, and 24, 2009 at the Ohio Farm Science Review in London, Ohio. More


Don Schuster, newly hired Assistive Technology Coordinator for the Missouri AgrAbility Project, completed a two-day, on-the-farm assessment training facilitated by Willard Downs and Brad Marsh. More

Trisa Nickoley, graduate assistant, Willard Downs, and Karen Funkenbusch are in the final phases of completing the development a rural disability, health, and quality of life needs assessment survey that will be disseminated to hobby farmers migrating into Missouri rural agricultural communities. More

Missouri farmers Russell and Wanda Ramsey as well as Pamela Osborn received scholarships from the National AgrAbility Project to attend the National AgrAbility Training Workshop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More

Comments from the field:shared by Russell Ramsey, Missouri farmer, National AgrAbility Scholarship recipient, and presenter for the Farm Panel during the National Training Workshop. More


Amanda Erichsen, Shianne Megel and Kylee Willard attended county fairs to increase awareness of the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project.More

Shianne Megel and Sandra Stevenson attended the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Fall Conference September 17 & 18 in Norman as exhibitors for Oklahoma AgrAbility Project. More

Department of Rehabilitation, Visual Services Training: Sandra Stevenson, Oklahoma AgrAbility Project Manager trained 40 Department of Rehabilitation-Visual Services counselors and staff on September 16, 2009. More

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Services Class Presentation: Oklahoma AgrAbility Project Co-Director, Linda Jaco presented to 15 members of the Student Organization for Rural Health Services. More


AgrAbility of Wisconsin (AAW) has established a website to facilitate the exchange of assistive technology equipment available from AAW farmers who no longer have a need for this equipment. This website permits farmer-to-farmer exchange. More

West Virginia

WV AgrAbility conducted Rural Rehab Training in Lewisburg, WV September 11 &12. More

WV AgrAbility is looking forward to presenting a workshop on AgrAbility and the impacts of farming on health at the West Virginia Rural Health State Conference in October.More


Wyoming AgrAbility staff recently gave an awareness presentation and participated in a panel discussion at the MS/Epilepsy Society Employers Workshop in Cheyenne, WY.

Wyoming AgrAbility staff presented a 2-day training on Rehabilitating Wyoming Ranchers and Farmers with the assistance of Carla Willhite, OTD, OTR-L, and Sarah Perry, OTR.

Staff Changes


The Missouri AgrAbility Project is pleased to announce that Don Schuster has joined the project to provide direct assistance to consumers needing farmstead assessments and other personalized services.Don may be contacted at the MAP number, 1-800-995-8503, or directly by e-mail at More


Katie Smyth, completed a 4-week stint with CAP as part of her professional development requirement for a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree from Creighton University.

Rachel Powell has begun a 12-week Level II Fieldwork assignment with Colorado AgrAbility.Rachel is a student at Colorado State University, studying occupational therapy.Having lived abroad, she speaks fluent Spanish as well as English.She hopes to combine those language skills with her therapy expertise to help update CAP Spanish-language materials, among other projects while she is with Colorado AgrAbility.

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Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,