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December 2009

National AgrAbility Project News

Powerpoints from the 2009 NTW presentations are now available to view on our website. Check it out at

AgrAbility now has its own YouTube channel. Visit NationalAgrAbility.More

A new peer support initiative is coming soon from the NAP.More

We need your photos!
We’re looking to update the National AgrAbility Program brochure, as well as our website. We’re asking for your help to submit photos from your programs to help bring diversity and interest to our site.More

New Arthritis and Agriculture Website To Be Released Soon. The Arthritis Foundation-Indiana Chapter has created a new web resource dealing with arthritis and agriculture that will be released very shortly.More

Amber Wolfe,AgrAbility Project Coordinator for the Arthritis Foundation-Indiana Chapter, attended the Midwest Rural Ag Safety and Health Forum in Johnston, Iowa on November 18-19.More

Trisa Nickoley, staffed an exhibit for the National AgrAbility Project at the 19th Annual Midwest Stream Forum, held at the Isla Grand Beach Resort Hotel in South Padre Island, Texas.More

Mark your calendars for the 2010 AgrAbility National Training Workshop, October 11 to 14, in Charleston, West Virginia.The NAP thanks the West Virginia AgrAbility staff for their willingness to host the NTW. More details about the hotel, etc., are coming soon.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


Colorado AgrAbility was awarded 2 mini-grants from Easter Seals and Sodexo to be used toward AT for farm families.

Failing to find a commercially available product for the purpose, CAP contracted with a local fabricator to design and install custom handrail for the side of a windrower.More


The Indiana AgrAbility Project/Breaking New Ground Outreach Program recently conducted trainings at three of the twenty-five Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services regional offices.More

In October and November,the Arthritis Foundation-Indiana Chapter took health displays to the several locations around Indiana.More


Kansas AgrAbility staff presented a segment on How AgrAbility Networks With Other Providers to Assist Kansas Farmers at a training for Kansas Farm Service Agency loan officers and staff on Nov. 3 in Manhattan, KS.

Kansas AgrAbility cosponsored Full Circle…An Aging Expo: Growing Older…but Not Old on November 6 in Hays, KS.


Minnesota AgrAbility has become a partner in the new Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network (MFAN) that will be dealing with farmers under stress and that need financial guidance to remain in farming.More


In November the Rural Missouri magazine did a two page article on the PHARM Dog program.More

During fall semester 2009, Brad Marsh, Consultant, to the Missouri AgrAbility Project and Willard Downs mentored two student groups who completed work on AgrAbility projects for their ASM Capstone Projects.More

In early November, Karen Funkenbusch and Martha Stiles from the California AgrAbility Project were asked by Amber Wolfe to cofacilitate the Arthritis Community of Interest group on the cultural impacts of AgrAbility working with Hispanic and Latino farmworkers.More

Jackie Allenbrand did an AgrAbility PHARM Dog presentation to the Gentry County Visually Impaired Support Group.

Karen Funkenbusch and Trisa Nickoley, ACE certified, graduate research assistant with the Missouri AgrAbility Project, attended the 17th Annual Small Farm Trade Show and Conference held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, Missouri to learn more about how best to assist lifestyle farmers living and working in rural Missouri.More

Trisa Nickoley, staffed an exhibit for the National AgrAbility Project at the 19th Annual Midwest Stream Forum, held at the Isla Grand Beach Resort Hotel in South Padre Island, Texas.More

For the Missouri AgrAbility Project, Trisa Nickoley served as a moderator during the Midwest Stream Farm worker Health Forum, where opportunities for continuing education were provided in a variety of disciplines with migrant health peers to learn about best practices and model programs along with discovering new resources to enhance service delivery.More

Trisa moderated several, three hour intensive sessions with the first HOT TOPIC on El Terror Invisible – Preventing Exposure to Agricultural Chemicals for Promotores where sixty promotores were in attendance at this intensive forum session.More

The Executive Producer of Ag Lifestyles from RFD TV contacted Jackie Allenbrand about doing a half hour segment on the AgrAbility PHARM Dog program to discuss how a dog can help a farmer with a disability, disease, or disorder on the farm.

Russell Ramsey,Volunteer farmer working with the Missouri AgrAbility Project in the southeast region of the state continues to disseminate AgrAbility resource materials to Farm Service Agencies.More

Karen Funkenbusch went to the St. Patricks Center to discuss ways in which the AgrAbility Program could provide direct services and assistance to dually diagnosed returning veterans.More

In December, Jackie Allenbrand will meet with Boehringer Ingelheim for support for the PHARM Dog project by supplying vet medications to all farmers that receive a dog placement on their farm.


Oklahoma AgrAbility Program Manager, Sandra Stevenson, trained new counselors at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Academy on November 18, 2009.More

Oklahoma AgrAbility student staff member receives national award.More


AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians invites you to become a fan on Facebook. Follow staff as they solve challenges faced by farmers with disabilities, travel the state to meet with farmers and their families, and keep up to date on events and projects of this dynamic program.


AgrAbility of Utah is publishing a series of articles in the state Farm Bureau magazine.More


Read the recent blog post from Emily Morehouse in DC.More

West Virginia

WV AgrAbility has partnered with Youth Safe Farms, a USDA grant through WV Extension Safety and Health.More

WV AgrAbility staff had the opportunity to promote awareness of AgrAbility, disabilities, and assistive technology at the West Virginia Farm Bureau Annual Conference, November 7-8 in Flatwoods.More

Staff Changes


OT student Rachel Powell completed has her 3 month level II fieldwork.

West Virginia

WV AgrAbility welcomes Hanna Thurman, a graduate social work student at WVU.  Hanna has chosen gerontology as her focus within social work.  AgrAbility offers a unique opportunity for students interested in gerontology due to our states population of aging farmers.  Hanna will be with WV AgrAbility until early spring.  Welcome aboard.

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Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,