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March 2010

National AgrAbility Project News

Hotel reservations can now be made for the 2010 NTW!

The e-Note will now contain a schedule of upcoming Community of Interest and Standing Committee call information. More

The National AgrAbility Project is pleased to announce the upcoming AgrAbility Professional In-Service Training to be held on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana on April 13, 14, and 15. Designed to provide knowledge of effective AgrAbility practices and resources, this in-service training will provide information on conducting on-farm assessments for farmers and ranchers with disabilities. For agenda click here. For registration click here. The deadline for registration is March 22, 2010, so please do not delay completing the attached registration form and submitting.

More than 60 people participated in the AgrAbility Webinar Series presentation, Hand Controls for Agricultural Users,conducted by NAP ergonomist Rob Stuthridge. The archived webinar is available at

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


The California AgrAbility program is working on several major projects to take place over the next few months, including  co-sponsoring the California Small Farm Conference in San Diego in February and participating in the Ag Safe Conference in Monterey County.

CalAgrAbility is in the plannning stages with two hospitals and Arthritis Foundation partners to conduct Farm Resource Workshops in Shasta County in March and two 3-day intensive trainings in April and May. The April/May sessions will train Arthritis Self Help Leaders in conducting 6 week classes for the rural public in both Spanish and English.

CalAgrAbility partner Central Valley Arthritis Foundation has been working with a group of migrant clinics in the Central Valley, which is highly populated by Spanish-language farm workers.

CalAgrAbility’s work with the Farmer-Veteran Coalition is coming to fruition at an all-day workshop and resource event in Santa Rosa, CA.


Amber Wolfe,Arthritis Foundation-Indiana Chapter,was the guest speaker at the Purdue University Academy of Student Pharmacists meeting on Feb. 23rd. More

In addition,Amber also presented information to help promote the upcoming Arthritis and Agriculture Fotonovela at the health fair exhibit during the  Annual St. Vincent Hospital (Indianapolis) Latino Health Fair.More


Kansas AgrAbility staff exhibited at the trade show and facilitated a session at the 2010 Women Managing the Farm Conference, Feb. 5-6 in Wichita, KS


Minnesota AgrAbility Project is planning their annual peer conference for March 18 & 19 in Hutchinson, MN.  This year’s theme is Assistive Technology on the Farm from the Fence Line to the Kitchen and Everywhere in between.More


Jackie Allenbrand attended and disseminated Missouri AgrAbility Project and MERIL programmatic information and resource materials at several farm and ranch shows throughout the Northwest region of Missouri.

Willard Downs, Missouri AgrAbility Project Director facilitated an AgrAbility and Safety campus orientation for Whitney Wiegel,our new Ag Business Specialist at Higginsville.

Susan Tharp, Research Associate from the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis (OSESA) collaborated with Willard Downs and Karen Funkenbusch to finalize an AgrAbility Program Evaluation. More

Don Shuster, John Tharp, Kristi Perry, Trisa Nickoley,and Karen Funkenbusch from the Missouri AgrAbility Project exhibited new interactive hands-on agricultural health and disability displays at the 2010 Western Farm Show.More

Russell Ramsey, Volunteer and Farmer Liason, assisted the neighboring state-level AgrAbility Project to exhibit the AgrAbility Project at the Southern Cotton Ginners Association Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, in Memphis, TN.More


Nebraska AgrAbility and Easter Seals Nebraska has learned that Sodexo Mini-Grants have been awarded to two AgrAbility clients.The $1200  awards will be used for agricultural assistive technology.

Nebraska AgrAbility Rural Rehabilitation Specialist Del Ficke has been accepted into the Farm Bureau Leadership Academy.More

Nebraska AgrAbility personnel shared the mission of AgrAbility and information about their program at the KNEB Farm and Ranch Expo in Scottsbluff and the Buffalo Farm and Ranch Expo in North Platte during the first week of February.More


Central Tech Open House, Drumright, Okla.–Kylee Willard represented AgrAbility at the campus open house on February 14 to increase awareness of the AgrAbility project.

American Farmers and Ranchers Convention, Oklahoma City, Okla.–Amanda Erichsen and Kylee Willard represented AgrAbility at this annual event on February 12 and 13.


Wyoming AgrAbility held a training Farming With Arthritis on March 5, 2010 in Torrington, WY. Presenters included Program Director, Randy Weigel, AT Specialist, Mary Fick Monteith, and OT, Sarah Perry.

Staff Changes


Julie Brootkowski started as a Media and Outreach Rep for CalAgrAbility in December 2009. More


Shianne Megel, the previous Oklahoma AgrAbility communications assistant with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, has accepted a position with the National Reining Horse Association as the Assistant of RHSF and NRHA Youth Programs in Oklahoma City.  Shianne served the Oklahoma AgrAbility project very well in helping with agricultural events and outreach efforts.  Her hard work for the Oklahoma team will be missed.    

AgrAbility in the News

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Other News

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Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,