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January 2012

National AgrAbility Project News

Please join us for the AgrAbility All-Staff Call, Friday, January 27, at 2:00 p.m. EST, 1:00 CST, 12:00 MST, 11:00 PST. Call-in number is 866-803-2444; no access code needed. Goodwill will update us on Congressional funding, and the University of Illinois team will discuss the annual needs assessment, NTW evaluation, and demographic data.

AgrAbility staff members, especially new ones, may benefit from materials on the old NAP site established by the University of Wisconsin. more

Goodwill is planning a number of professional in-service trainings for 2012 to be hosted by local Goodwills in states that do not currently have AgrAbility projects. more

Goodwill is also planning a Northeast AgrAbility Workshop for late spring that will focus on training staff of SRAP, Goodwills, and other community based organizations about building AgrAbility resources for returning veterans. more

In February, Goodwill will host an informational booth at the 2012 Western Stream Migration conference in Portland, Oregon. more

Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility coordinator for the Arthritis Foundation, attended the American AgriWomen National Convention in Wichita, Kansas, November 11-13. more

Amber Wolfe gave a 90-minute presentation on Arthritis and Agriculture at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois, December 4-5. more

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

Toolbox Spotlight
See what's new in the Toolbox online this month.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


CalAgrAbility collaborated with the Yolo County Farm Bureau in Woodland, California and the Pacific Region Arthritis Foundation (AF) to present the workshop, "Taking the Reins: Living and Working with Arthritis on Farms." more

CalAgrAbility was also asked by the California NRCS director's office to collaborate on rural volunteer activities for their staff for National Service Day for all USDA employees coming up in January 2012. more

CalAgrAbility is working with the Yolo County Master Gardeners Program on a workshop specifically for their membership. more

CalAgrAbility has a big agenda for 2012 and plans to initiate new chronic disease outreach. more


The Indiana AgrAbility Project/Breaking New Ground exhibited at the 2011 Indiana-Illinois Power Machinery Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, December 13-15. more

The Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest was re-launched at the beginning of January. more

Two Indiana AgrAbility clients were featured in the January issue of the Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. more

AgrAbility was represented at the Indiana Rural Health Association's Fall Forum by Amber Wolfe, Arthritis Foundation, and Linda Tarr, Hoosier Uplands, who staffed a table in the vendor and exhibitor area for a one day event held in Bloomington, Indiana, on November 18.

Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility coordinator for the Arthritis Foundation, gave a 90-minute presentation on Arthritis and Agriculture at the Indiana Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, December 9-10. more


Maine AgrAbility will conduct its first training in January with the state VA/VR, and will be focusing on what AgrAbility has to offer to veterans. more


The Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project is conducting a webinar on respiratory health in agriculture on February 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EST. more


Over one hundred livestock producers learned about the MO AgrAbility Program during the Missouri Livestock Symposium, in Kirksville, Missouri. more

The Missouri Young Farmers/Young Farm Wives executive board members, including representatives from DESE, FBMA, MVATA, and newsletter staff members received the Missouri AgrAbility Welcome Toolbox. more

An estimated 400 young farmers from across the nation traveled to Missouri in early December to attend the 45th National Young Farmer Educational Association Institute. more

From November 1-December 10, Russell Ramsey attended the National AgrAbility Training Workshop, completed the Missouri AgrAbility Barn Builders Publication, co-authored a Farming with a Traumatic Brain Injury guide sheet, arranged a volunteer peer support meeting for farmers and ranchers with disabilities and caregivers, and facilitated six AgrAbility onsite farm assessments.

Jackie Allenbrand attended the MERIL Leadership meeting to network and share ideas and resources, and the MERIL Service Coordinator meetings to share AgrAbility and PHARM Dog activities and resources with other service coordinators. more


Rod Peterson, Sharry Nielsen, and Mike Tufte hosted an exhibit at the Nebraska Farm Bureau annual meeting trade show. more

The Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri AgrAbility projects are working with the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska on a grant to reach and teach veterans who want to return to or make a start in agricultural production. more


Promotional booths were staffed at the Tulsa Farm Show and an Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service new employee orientation at the Oklahoma State University Botanic Gardens.

Sandra Stevenson attended a conference titled "Gerontechnology: Assistive Technology That Will Change Patient Care" on December 2, in Birmingham, Alabama, sponsored by Cross Country Education.

Staff members conducted educational presentations promoting the Project and its sponsorship of the Arthritis Exercise Program at a state Cooperative Extension Service FCS Issue Team meeting. more


AgrAbility of Wisconsin spoke to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Board December 15, creating awareness and encouraging board members to spread the positive message of the program.


Wyoming AgrAbility had a booth to provide information on AgrAbility services to the many attendees and legislative representatives at the Wyoming Stock Growers and Wool Growers Winter Roundup on December 13-15.

Staff Changes


Maine would like to welcome Anne Grygiel and Ketra Crosson to the AgrAbility team! They are both Occupational Therapists for Alpha One, Maine's Independent Living Center. We are excited for our team to expand!


Our dear friend and colleague Russell Ramsey, who diligently worked and volunteered for the MO AgrAbility Project, suddenly passed away on Saturday, December 10, while working on his farm. more


Oklahoma AgrAbility would like to welcome our new program assistant, Tammie Honeyman, to the project.


AgrAbility of Wisconsin would like to welcome Nolan Lacy. Nolan is an AmeriCorps member who will be serving at Easter Seals Wisconsin's main office. He is one of the FARM Assistive Technology assistants and is currently and an Biological Systems Engineering student at University of Wisconsin - Madison. His main role will be conducting research and obtaining quotes for assistive technologies and farm equipment for AgrAbility clients.


Kelley Dees, project coordinator for Wyoming AgrAbility, has left the project to accompany her husband on an international internship and study program in Tokyo, Japan. We are sorry to see her leave but thank her for all her work.

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,