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May 2011


Nine AgrAbility clients and a mental health counselor met for the 2011 Neighbor-to-Neighbor Peer Support Training April 4 and 5. NE staff worked with Dr. Robert Fetsch for an excellent training on active listening, supporting folks with disabilities, recognizing signs of depression, and more. Participants discussed ways they could expand the work of NE AgrAbility staff.

The “Rehabilitating Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers with Disabilities” workshop drew 18 health professionals from Eastern NE to the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center (ARDC). Although rain put a damper on the farm and livestock site visits, ARDC staff worked to make them a very educational segment of the day. Lead instructor for the class was Dr. Carla Wilhite, while AgrAbility, Easter Seals NE, and Vocational Rehabilitation Services staff taught specific segments.

Consumer programs on “Arthritis and Gardening” were presented at two sites by Sharry Nielsen and UNL Extension Horticulture Aide Kim Sindt. Sharry discussed the prevalence of arthritis and managing the disease, using information from the National AgrAbility Project and the National Arthritis Foundation, followed by Kim showing methods, equipment, and products to help participants continue in their gardening operations. Audience participation and suggestions added a great deal to the presentations.

Rod Peterson promoted Nebraska AgrAbility and its services in a radio interview through the KRVN network. The interview aired on 3 statewide stations from Norfolk to Scottsbluff, reaching a majority of the Nebraska radio audience.

Submitted by Sharry Nielsen