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February 2011

National AgrAbility Project News

Join us for the next AgrAbility all-staff call Thursday, February 17 at 3:00 p.m. EST, 2:00 p.m. CST, 1:00 p.m. MST, 12:00 p.m. PST. In addition to a discussion of AgrAbility-related business, Nancy Arnold of RTC:Rural at the University of Montana is scheduled to give an overview of the institute's work and its application to AgrAbility.

The Northwest AgrAbility Workshop, in Corvallis Oregon on the campus of Oregon State University February 24-25, 2011, is a two day event that has been designed provide AgrAbility staff with a solid foundation for advancing the needs of farmers and ranchers with disabilities. more

The AgrAbility Webinar Series presents, Emergency Preparedness for Farmers, Ranchers and other Rural Residents with Disabilities, Arthritis & Agriculture Cover ImageFebruary 24, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. EST. more

The Arthritis and Agriculture and Plain Fact about Arthritis publications have been updated and reprinted and are offered at a discounted pre-order price for a limited time only. more

The new AgrAbility video has been completed and is available for viewing at

A list of confirmed speakers and topics, hotel accommodations, and travel information is available for the Arthritis, Agriculture, and Rural Life: State of the Art Research, Practices, and Applications conference to be held at the Purdue University Beck Center in West Lafayette, IN May 11-13. more

Steve Swain, ATP, the Assistive Technology Specialist for the NAP, presented two workshops at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference in Orlando, Florida. more

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

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


CalAgrAbility consumers and staff attended the first regional Beginning Farmers Workshop. more

CalAgrAbility has been working to plan Spanish-language workshops in the north, "rehabilitating farmers" workshops, a new fotonovela project, and more. more


Project Manager Jill Sump was invited to contribute to a panel assembled by the chair of the Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). more

The Colorado Extension AgrAbility team was awarded the 2010 Epsilon Sigma Phi Team Award. more


Indiana AgrAbility staffed an exhibit at the 2011 Indiana Horticulture Congress January 18-20 in Indianapolis that included AgrAbility resources/publications, information concerning arthritis in agriculture, and examples of adapted and ergonomic tools. more

Kylie Hendress, BNG Outreach Coordinator, attended the first of several extension educator district meetings designed to create and enhance the awareness of BNG and our services. more

Paul Jones staffed a BNG exhibit at the Indiana Rural Health Policy Forum in Indianapolis on January 18. more

The Indiana AgrAbility Project exhibited at the 2011 Fort Wayne Farm Show on January 18-20, which drew more than 30,000 people to northeastern Indiana. more

Gail Deboy attended the Indiana Livestock Forage and Grain Forum in Indianapolis on January 28. more

Kylie Hendress attended the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers Leadership Conference on January 29 in Indianapolis. more

Amber Wolfe staffed an exhibit booth at the Indiana Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 11. more

Amber Wolfe is presenting arthritis and agriculture seminars at each of the 16 Area Agencies on Aging across Indiana. more

Minnesota AgrAbility Media Day was a huge successMinnesota

On Friday, January 28, the members of the Minnesota AgrAbility Project hosted a day long event for local media to promote the work of the Minnesota AgrAbility Project. more


Jackie Allenbrand, MERIL and Don Schuster, University of Missouri Extension reported that the 2011 Great Plains Vegetable Grower’s Conference and Trade Show in St. Joseph had a better than usual turn out because they combined several statewide organizations into one huge show. more

Jackie showcased the AgrAbility Program with the University of Missouri Buchanan County Extension Center during the St. Joseph Farm Show. more

On behalf of the ACESS II ILC planning committee Jackie and Don reported the spring 2011 day-long AgrAbility Workshop is underway. more

Convention attendee using Life Essentials liftJackie continues to explore ways service dogs are trained to assist farmers with tasks specific to the farming occupation with the P.H.A.R.M. Dog (Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri) program. more

Missouri’s newest AgrAbility client referral to RSB is receiving four of the six recommended adaptive devices. more

Community leaders in the West Central Region are promoting success in agriculture for people with disabilities by working with the University of Missouri Extension, On My Own Independent Living Center, and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to co-host an AgrAbility workshop on March 9, 9am–3 pm, at On My Own, Inc. more

In the Southwest and South Central Region Bob Schultheis, Natural Resource Engineering Specialist/CPD University of Missouri Extension Center - Webster County and Angie Fletcher, Douglas County Program Director, Human Development Specialist continue to facilitate AgrAbility questions, disseminate materials, and make referrals to the AgrAbility Program and community-based social service agencies.

Winter weather didn't worry those attending the 25th annual Heartland Agriculture and Natural Resources Expo Friday and Saturday in Southeast Missouri at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff. more

Russell continues to lead Missouri’s effort to formalize a statewide AgrAbility volunteer peer support network. more

Russell and AgrAbility staff members continue to finalize Missouri’s Client and Caregiver Barn Builders publication. more

AgrAbility staff members reported fifteen new client referrals from our partnerships such as CDC Arthritis Program, Rehab Services for Blind, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Lincoln University, MU-Alternative Farms Center, outpatient rehabilitation for Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital in St. Louis, Veteran’s Hospital in Columbia, Centers for Independent Living, social networking (press releases, web contacts, radio interviews, ag expos), and program presentations.

Another social-networking opportunity to market AgrAbility comes from the not-for-profit organization currently chaired by Carol Childress, in Southern and Southeast Missouri promoting “Grow Missouri, Fruits and Vegetables” who plans to link their programmatic website to the MAP.

AgrAbility staff members, Extension specialists, and the Eldon rural fire department are planning a training workshop in conjunction with the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (MVATA) state conference. more

Volunteer master gardeners continue to present the AgrAbility Gardens for Every Body Program Gardens for Every Body banner in rural agricultural communities to farmers, gardening coalitions, 4H, FFA, hospitals, church organizations, and others interested in learning about small acre, accessible, and green house gardening.


On, January 21, 145 Cooperative Extension/FCS Educators attended the FCS Annual Conference where Oklahoma AgrAbility had a booth set up.

Oklahoma AgrAbility held Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program Training for 21 attendees on January 19, 2011 in Stillwater, OK.


Vermont Center for Independent Living AgrAbility staff Tom Younkman and Janis Moore have been busy doing outreach at the Vermont Grazing Conference and the three-day intense Barre Farm Show. more

Staff Changes


Welcome to Ellen Gibson, AgrAbility Specialist with Goodwill Workforce Solutions, the newest member of the Maine AgrAbility program team.


Welcome to Vicki Cooper, the new Outreach Specialist for AgrAbility of Wisconsin.

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

Click here for professional development events related to AgrAbility.

Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,