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June 2010

West Virginia

Staff has battled rain, flooded bridges, and mud slides to be a part of the annual Farm Safety Days camps across the state.  By mid-June, staff will have crisscrossed the state to participate in 10 different county events.  WV AgrAbility’s presentation focuses on disability and assistive technology awareness and injury prevention.  Staff talk with students about general ways to increase safety around the farm and home by using assistive technology.

 WV AgrAbility exhibited at the second annual Kanawha Valley Sustainability Fair held May 22nd at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Charleston.  This was a free community event spotlighting state resources that contribute to the economic, environmental and social sustainability of our communities.  About 2300 people attended the event.

AgrAbility was just one of the many exhibits at the Fair.  Environment and energy exhibits; gardening, cooking and composting demonstrations; and health information and screenings; in addition to live performances and children’s activities introduced attendees to the variety of available resources that can be used to keep West Virginia sustainable. 

AgrAbility’s message centered on the importance of keeping farmers farming despite disabilities and mobility limitations.  Keeping every farmer in operation is vital to keeping food local and fresh.

Caring for the Caregiver: Tools for Supporting Caregivers in Rural Areas was well received at the National Association of Social Workers WV Chapter Conference held in late April.  This training curriculum was created by staff for professionals working with farm family caregivers.  The curriculum addresses the struggles and stressors of care giving in the farm family system, coping techniques for caregivers, and family health.

With this success under its belt, AgrAbility staff will present this topic again at the 32nd annual Summer Institute on Aging.  This conference highlights how services for seniors and their families can be improved.  This year’s conference will be held at the Lakeview Resort and Conference Center in Morgantown, June 8th-10th.  Staff will present Caring for the Caregiver on Wednesday, June 9th at 1:30PM.  For more information, visit

Submitted by: Mary Slabinski