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October 2011

National AgrAbility Project News

You must be registered for the AgrAbility National Training Workshop by November 4. There will be no onsite registration. more

The Toolbox assistive technology database is online!

AgrAbility recently had a unique opportunity to share its story at the Disability in Agriculture and Rural Life Forum in Washington, D.C. more

Amber Wolfe, Arthritis Foundation, presented workshops on arthritis and agriculture in Dodge City, Kansas on August 29 (with the KS Arthritis Foundation and Kansas AgrAbility sponsoring the event) and Stillwater, Oklahoma on August 31 (with OK AgrAbility and OK AbleTech sponsoring the event). more

AgrAbility consultant and Purdue nursing professor Dr. Roberta Schweitzer recently completed a five-day training in the Mental Health First-Aid program, which she hopes to bring to some of the SRAPs. more

The Arthritis Foundation is awarding consumer scholarships for five farmers to attend the National Training Workshop in Indianapolis. more

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

Join the Mental/Behavioral Health COI on Wednesday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m. EDT, 12:30 CDT, 11:30 MDT, 10:30 PDT for a discussion on the Mental Health First-Aid program with Dr. Roberta Schweitzer.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


CalAgrAbility continues to assist in the planning of the CA Small Farms Conference, which will be held in March 2012 in Valencia.

Staff attended a local HLAA Hear! Hear! Meeting in which audiologist Julia Ahlquist Tanner, from The Hearing Solution of Sacramento, spoke about a very popular system called "Looping" to aid those who have hearing problems.

CalAgrAbility was also represented at the local RISE Collaborative meeting in Esparto where upcoming Harvest festival events were discussed. more

Outreach staff delivered a "Rehabilitating Farmers" program to the CA Rural Legal Assistance Office in Marysville, California. more

The El Dorado County Health Fair was held in September, where CalAgrAbility staffed a booth and identified several potential consumers. more

Along with Arthritis Foundation partners, CalAgrAbility conducted five Taking the Reins self-management workshops in Sanger at the Boys and Girls Club; in Kerman at the Grananda Apartment Community Facility; in Del Rey at the Boys and Girls Club; in Firebaugh at the Town Educational Center; and in Reedley at the Boys and Girls Club. Over 60 farm families signed up for the classes.


Colorado AgrAbility Program (CAP) staff members met with representatives of the Coalition for Older Adult Wellness (COAW). more

CAP was invited to present at district meetings of the Farmers Union Service Agency (FUSA). more

In cooperation with CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, CAP had a booth at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colorado. more

The National Beef Speaker’s Bureau for the American National CattleWomen, Inc. and the National Beef Ambassador Program have expressed interest in collaborating with CAP to raise awareness of AgrAbility services and the CattleWomen’s advocacy and education efforts.


"Assistive Technology Update - A fast-paced weekly update for AT professionals and enthusiasts," an online podcast, featured an interview of Steve Swain this week. more

Amber Wolfe gave arthritis and agriculture presentations at three of the Area Agencies on Aging in Indiana during the month of September. more

An AgrAbility/Arthritis Foundation booth was hosted at the Prime Time Expo on September 29 in Danville, Indiana with approximately 1,100 people in attendance.


As mentioned in the September e-Note, Ed Butterfass was a long time supporter and participant of the Minnesota AgrAbility Project. more

Carol Fury, Minnesota AgrAbility staff member, provided training at the National Rehabilitation Services Administration Conference on Alternative Finance and Access to Telework Programs held in Berkeley, California at the new accessible Edward Roberts Center on campus. more

Lamoille Country Field DaysMissouri

The MO AgrAbility Program hosted a booth during the University of Missouri Extension Southwest Center, Ag Field Day—Adults; 51st Year of Science in the Public Service, in Mount Vernon. more

Each year, the Southwest Center also invites high school agricultural education classes from the surrounding area to participate in a day of learning. more

Karen Funkenbusch was invited to present the AgrAbility Gardens for Every Body Program at the Active Living, Learning, & Working with Assistive Technology for Kansans AT Expo 2011, in Topeka, Kansas. more

Working in collaboration with schools, community groups, and other health care providers, the MO AgrAbility Program participated in the MU Health Care, University of Missouri Health Care System Falls Prevention Week clinic. more

To complement the AgrAbility Gardens for Every Body tool shed, a new series of horticulture DVDs for living, learning, and working were purchased and available for check-out. more

University of Missouri Extension AgrAbility staff members and graduate level agricultural systems management students were on hand to present two 30 minute AgrAbility sessions on ergonomic tractors and ATV safety during the Missouri’s Cattlemen Foundation, 9th Annual Farm Safety College. more

Thirty undergraduate agriculture students at the University of Missouri completed an online Disability in Agriculture module. more

Jackie Allenbrand, MERIL AgrAbility Outreach Coordinator, reported that PHARM® Dog was the featured story at the Electric Cooperative Building at the Missouri State Fair during Farm Family Day. more

MO AgrAbility attended the Hundley Whaley Research Farm FFA Field Day. more

Staff members assisted with the ADA event coordinated by MERIL and ACCESS II Independent Living Centers. more

Staff members attended the Chamber of Commerce Ag Division meeting where Colin Foster, Soaring Hope Equine Assisted Therapy Center, was the presenter. more

MO AgrAbility attended the Graves Chapple FFA Field Day in Atchison County where 232 students participated.

AgrAbility customer Lyle Fletcher from the Central Missouri region received an 11 week old puppy. more


Three Nebraska AgrAbility staff members and nine peer supporters hosted an exhibit at Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island, Nebraska in mid-September. more

Grain entrapment prevention was the theme for the National Farm Safety and Health Week promotion by AgrAbility staff. more


Over 133,000 people attended this year’s Ohio Farm Science Review, September 20-22. more

Ohio AgrAbility has begun its sixth consecutive semester working with University of Dayton’s Innovative Engineering classes on AgrAbility-based design projects. more


Extension Educators across the state continued to offer the Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series: "Arthritis Exercise Program" in their communities.

OK AgrAbility hosted a promotional booth at the State Rural Health Annual Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, September 20-21.

OK AgrAbility presented on "Gardening with Arthritis" at the Payne County Master Gardeners meeting in Stillwater, Oklahoma, September 27.

The OK AgrAbility website is now accessible to persons with disabilities. Visit the new look at

West Virginia

Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints, an accessible gardening program in partnership with West Virginia AgrAbility, is excited to announce a new addition to its webpage—an online forum. more

Staff Changes


Arkansas AgrAbility would like to welcome Camme Fell. Camme is our new AgrAbility program technician whose primary responsibility will be conducting on-site farm assessments and offering AT recommendations.


Dr. Robert "Bob" Fetsch has retired from his position at the Colorado State University Department of Human Development and Family Studies and CSU Extension. more


Beginning September 1, 2011, Karen Funkenbusch and Willard Downs effectively have switched roles and she has assumed day to day management and leadership of the project, while Willard plans to work on specific project goals and objectives. more


Congratulations to Sandra Stevenson, Oklahoma AgrAbility Case Manager, who recently received Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). more


Linda Fetzer left AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians on September 30 to begin work at Penn State’s Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, with Dr. Dennis Murphy and Dr. Aaron Yoder on Farm and Ranch eXtension in the Safety & Health Community of Practice. more


AgrAbility of Utah is pleased to introduce Tana Beckstead as our new Program Coordinator. more

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,