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November 2009


Indiana has recently taken on a new adventure by partnering with a Indiana FFA member to serve as a youth ambassador for our program. Nellie Bell, daughter of BNG client and consultant Ed Bell, is doing her part to share the word about Breaking New Ground/AgrAbility to those youth who share her love for agriculture. 

In September, Nellie began giving presentations to area high school agriculture departments and FFA chapters in her home district. Nellie spends about 20 minutes with each group doing hands-on presentations and talking about disability in agriculture.  She discusses her personal story, then asks the students for volunteers to make a peanut butter sandwich with use of only their non-dominant hand, providing a real life example of how a disability can make even the easiest tasks more difficult.  She also touches on the assistive technology curriculum and BNG recently sent every FFA chapter in the U.S., and she entertains a brainstorming session on projects students can do in their own community. She wraps up by discussing how those students can help make a difference in their local community through the BNG Bridging Horizons Contest.

She feels that sharing the Bridging Horizon’s program will help educate high school students about the good they can do in their own communities. “It is a wonderful thing to see FFA members get excited about helping and serving others!” 

Nellie talked about the goals she has for her presentations. “The goal that I wish to accomplish through my visits is to make the people that I visit with see things in a different way and to realize that they have the power of positive influence. By being aware that a person with a disability is simply someone who doesn’t have the ability to do something, and recognizing our attitudes towards these people, we can change the way we think about things in the future.”

Nellie hopes to begin statewide travel sharing the program. Nellie is also happy to team up with her father for a father/daughter presentation.  If you think you have a presentation opportunity for Nellie, Ed or both, please contact her at 

Submitted by: Kim Stockment