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December 2010

National AgrAbility Project News

The deadline for abstracts for instructional sessions and workshop sessions for the RESNA Conference in Toronto, Canada on June 5-8, 2011 has been extended to January 4, 2011. Additional information can be found at:

Registration is open for the Northwest AgrAbility Workshop, which will be in Corvallis Oregon on the campus of Oregon State University February 24-25, 2011. more

Save the Date: AgrAbility Webinar Series - Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities in Rural Areas. February 24, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. EST. More information to come.

The second issue of the "Growing Pains" Arthritis and Agriculture newsletter has been mailed to all AgrAbility staff and supporters. If you do not receive your copy, please contact Amber Wolfe to let her know of any possible address corrections or changes.

Amber Wolfe attended and spoke at the Midwest Rural Ag Safety and Health Forum in Iowa City, IA November 17-18. She gave a presentation titled Prevention of Early Onset of Osteoarthritis in Rural Farm Youth.

Paul Jones presented a session on the Assistive Technology for Rural Youth Curriculum at the National Agriculture Educators Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas on December 1.

The national arthritis and agriculture conference planning committee continues working on the Arthritis, Agriculture, and Rural Life: State of the Art Research, Practices, and Applications conference (AARL conference), which will be held at the Purdue University Beck Center in West Lafayette, IN May 11-13. more

New Exhibit Poster Available! The Arthritis and Agriculture educational poster display is a 30”x40” laminated poster (click here to view PDF), great for use at health fairs, county and state agricultural and 4-H fairs, farm shows, and more. more

Click here for the schedule of upcoming Community of Interest and Standing Committee call information.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


In November, Wyoming AgrAbility shared information on their services with the therapeutic staff of Elkhorn Valley Rehab Hospital in Casper, WY. Information on Agrability services was also presented to three UW sections of the class "Exploring Health Sciences".

A blog has been created for Wyoming AgrAbility and it can be viewed at, which includes a link to subscribe to updates as well. Also, you can friend Wyoming Agrability’s new Facebook page at

West Virginia

AgrAbility was on display again at this year’s Annual Rural Health Conference, held at the Glade Spring Resort in late October. more


The Vermont staff has been diligently working on applying for a new AgrAbility grant.

VTvisitsNHThe NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Lorraine Merrill, met with Tom Younkman and Janis Moore to discuss the AgrAbility Without Borders collaboration between the two states. more


Oklahoma AgrAbility had a booth at the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Trade Show on November 19-20, 2010 in Oklahoma City. Milissa Gofourth and Lynn Jeffries represented the project.

The 7th annual Farmers and Ranchers Conference, October 8-9, 2010, netted $6,680, which will go to client services to fund assistive technology.


Rod Peterson staffed an exhibit at the Clay County Health Fair, promoting the project and networking with other agencies and activities.

Sharry Nielsen presented a mini-session on AgrAbility at the Fillmore County Health Fair as well as staffing an exhibit on ATV safety. more

Del Ficke took the lead for the exhibit at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Trade Show at their annual meeting the first part of December. more


Willard Downs, University of Missouri Extension, is actively soliciting funding to support the Missouri AgrAbility Program from various avenues throughout the state.

Jackie Allenbrand submitted an article to the MERIL newsletter about the AgrAbility NTW experience held in Charleston. more

Trisa Nickoley, University of Missouri health promotion and education graduate assistant, and Karen Funkenbusch presented a lecture to 125 students in the PRT 3220: Recreation for People with Disabilities class. more

Don Schuster, University of Missouri Extension, attended the 2010 National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference sponsored by Small Farm Today magazine held in Columbia, MO. more

Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension, presented two AgrAbility seminars for health care providers (OT, PT, Speech, Social Worker, Nurse, and Physician). more

Russell Ramsey, volunteer farmer, continued to lead Missouri’s effort to cultivate change by formalizing a statewide AgrAbility volunteer peer support and caregiver network. more

Russell and AgrAbility staff members also worked on a Volunteer Peer Support and Caregivers Barn Builders publication for Missouri. more

Trisa Nickoley attended the 2010 Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Forum in Iowa City, IA to receive updated rural health and agricultural safety relevant information and resource materials. more

Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension, attended the 20th Annual Midwest Stream Farmworker Health Forum in Austin, TX as an invited speaker. more

Trisa Nickoley and Karen Funkenbusch developed an AgrAbility Fitness for Farmers display and worked on relevant handout materials. more


Michigan Staff presented a session on working with farmers to rehabilitation professionals at the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference in Traverse City, November 5.


Indiana AgrAbility/Breaking New Ground recently staffed exhibits at the Governor's Council for People with Disabilities annual conference, Indiana Farm Bureau Convention, and Indiana/Illinois Farm Show in Indianapolis.

Amber Wolfe has been asked to be the keynote speaker at two county-wide farmer dinners during the upcoming National Agriculture week in March 2011. Her speeches will focus on Arthritis and Agriculture and how Indiana farmers can continue to be successful in their farming operations despite arthritis pain.


Colorado AgrAbility Project staff was invited to present at the annual Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) County Officers’ Meeting. more

The first two days of the CO Agrability annual series of Winter Workshops were held for farm/ranch families and local health and vocational professionals. more


The CalAgrAbility team has just finished creating a new database on Filemaker Pro to be used for intake and consumer data files, streamlining some  services.

The staff participated in several veterans events in November and published CalAgrability Research News in English and Spanish. more

Staff attended a RISE Collaborative meeting and networked with Adult Education Services in Yolo County to extend Arthritis trainings and ESL classes to rural venues. more

For one consumer with TBI and other special needs CalAgrability has discovered The Janet Pomeroy Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. more

Staff Changes


Kevin Bell, former Oklahoma AgrAbility Program Coordinator, has left his position effective November 5, 2010. We wish him well.

AgrAbility in the News

Click here for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Other News

Click here for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.

Upcoming Events

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Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,