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November 2009

West Virginia

Staff presented information at the State Rural Health Conference on WV AgrAbility and how the project involves community and healthcare professionals in identifying farm and rural families in need of services. This conference provided an opportunity for AgrAbility Staff to educate and reach healthcare providers and health educators.

WV AgrAbility Staff had the opportunity to promote awareness of farmers’ needs at the WV Occupational Therapist Association Conference.  AgrAbility was on display to further this profession’s understanding of farmer work environments and occupational hazards.

AgrAbility and program information was shared at  ‘Women in Agriculture’; an event open to women involved in agriculture in the western counties of West Virginia.  Staff also represented WV AgrAbility at the Agriculture Conservation Partnership Conference.  This partnership brings together WVU Extension Service, the Farm Service Agency, State Department of Agriculture and other farm agencies and services to share updates, concerns and ideas regarding policies and practices.

Funding was secured and assistive technology devices were installed by the Division of Rehabilitation Services for a Christmas tree farmer.  An ‘ag cam’, additional step and a heated cab were added to his tractor.  The use of these additions provided by DRS not only will maximize this farmer’s agriculture production but also allow the farmer to continue to maintain his production.

Submitted by: Mary Slabinski