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May 2012

National AgrAbility Project News

The NAP staffed a display at the AOTA Annual Conference and Expo in Indianapolis on April 26-28. more

The NAP Advisory Team met for its annual face-to-face meeting in Indianapolis on April 24-25. more

Amber Wolfe presented a free community-based educational workshop on arthritis and agriculture in Montgomery, Alabama on April 5. more

There's still time to register for the annual ISASH Conference, where AgrAbility will be represented. more

Amber Wolfe presented a free community-based educational workshop on arthritis and agriculture in Montgomery, Alabama on April 5. more

The Marketing Committee is scheduled to discuss social networking and hear a presentation on Wisconsin AgrAbility's marketing efforts on Thursday, May 24 at 11:30 a.m. EDT via 866-803-2444.

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's spring season has kicked off with a bang, as staff have been attending events in half a dozen rural venues. more

Taking the Reins (arthritis workshop) and Exercise Classes were conducted in Spanish at the Mexican American Community Service Agency, Inc. in Monterey County, the Orchard Village in Yolo County, and Clinica Tepati in Sacramento County. more

CalAg is now on Twitter. more


AgrAbility client Jackie Weimer was one of four featured stories at this year's Power of Work luncheon presented by Goodwill Industries of Denver (GID). more

The Colorado AgrAbility Project (CAP) was invited to present at the monthly board meeting of the Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB). more

CAP staff manned booths at rural health fairs run by a Colorado nonprofit 9Health Fair. more

CAP shared information with Agriculture and Business Management instructors from junior colleges across the state at their recent gathering in Denver.

CAP shared AgrAbility information at a resource fair hosted by Cargill at their beef processing plant in Fort Morgan, CO. more


Steve Swain, the Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, spoke to the Madison County Junior Leaders about disabilities, accessibility, and the accessibility of their county fairgrounds. more

A presentation was also made to the Hancock County Master Gardener class. more

The Purdue College of Agriculture presents to the public an opportunity to see and experience what each department within the College is researching or what students are learning. more

Minnesota AgrAbility staff participate in filming a news story.Minnesota

On Friday, April 20, 2012, Minnesota AgrAbility Project staff Alvin Rasmussen and Dan Stores participated in the filming of a news story highlighting the Minnesota AgrAbility Project, and how the project has helped a local farmer in Harmony, Minnesota. more

Minnesota AgrAbility Project staff Alvin Rasmussen and Dan Stores presented two training sessions at the 83rd Annual Minnesota State FFA Convention held on April 22-24, 2012. more


Services for Independent Living, Mexico Branch collaborated with the MO AgrAbility Program to present two Gardens For Every Body educational programs. more

Karen Funkenbusch, AgrAbility Extension, and Amber Wolfe, National AgrAbility Project, facilitated a teleconference with the Arthritis Foundation Eastern Missouri Chapter to explore future collaborative arthritis and agriculture programs. more

AgrAbility Extension staff attended workshops hosted by the Missouri Department of Veterans Affairs on federal benefits for veterans, dependents, and survivors. more

AgrAbility Extension staff met with the MO Department of Agriculture and MO Department of Labor to explore collaborative initiatives that cooperatively support Missouri farmers and ranchers. more

Jackie Allenbrand, MERIL AgrAbility outreach specialist for the northwest region, reported that she traveled to a farmer's home in Harrison County to assist with an onsite farm home accessibility assessment with Connie Neal, University of Missouri Extension housing specialist and Carla Rickabaugh, MERIL accessibility coordinator.

Chris Davis, Assistive Technology technician with the University of Missouri Extension, and Janet Hurst, farm outreach worker, Franklin and Warren Counties, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, reported that four small farmers with disabilities were awarded USDA funding to build hoop houses as part of a new pilot project under the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative. more


"Rehabilitating Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers with Disabilities" drew 19 occupational and physical therapists to Grand Island, NE, to learn more about farm culture, treatment strategies, and resources available when working with people with disabilities. more

Following Veteran Farmer workshops earlier this year in collaboration with the Center for Rural Affairs and Farmers Union, plans are proceeding for farm visits this summer. more

Check out a possible alternative to barbed wire fence staples at more


Ohio AgrAbility will be participating and presenting at a full schedule of events and programming scheduled for May. more


Five participants attended a program on the AgrAbility Project held by an OCES Extension educator at the Coalgate Public Library in Coal County, and a 4-H member in Okfuskee County presented a Disability Awareness session at a Progressive Ag Safety Day.

The Oklahoma AgrAbility Project had a presence at the following venues in April: Oklahoma Agriculture Day at the Capitol, Disability Awareness Day at the Capitol, the Langston University Goat Field Day, a State 4-H Curriculum Meeting, and an Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Issue Team Meeting.

Arthritis Foundation Exercise classes were held by OK Cooperative Extension Educators in Jefferson and Seminole Counties, reaching 75 participants.

Cooperative Extension educators continue to attend the recorded professional core training on AgrAbility. more


At the Spring 2012 VT Farm Health Task Force meeting, VT Legislative aides discussed the 2012 Farm Bill and VT AgrAbility's role as a primary voice for farm health and safety, not only in Vermont, but regionally in the Northeast through partnerships with AgriSafe, NYCAMH, Cornell Extension, and Centers for Independent Living. more

Vermont now has 4 peer support groups dispersed around the state with Tom Younkman and Janis Moore as facilitators of the groups. more

West Virginia

West Virginia AgrAbility sponsored a two day training for occupational therapists, physical therapists, and vocational rehabilitation counselors. more


WI AgrAbility AmeriCorps members Zach Stollfus, April Jordan and Laura Finley pictured were a vital part of the event's success.The 2012 AgrAbility of Wisconsin Summit was held in Marshfiled, Wisconsin April 12. more

AgrAbility of Wisconsin (AAW) hosted the Western Technical College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program students for a farm experience in Viroqua, Wisconsin April 25. more

Paul Leverenz, Project Director for the AATT training and the Vice President of FARM and Vocational Services for Easter Seals Wisconsin. Kelly Ewalt from the Michigan AgrAbility Project Affiliate. Ned Stoller from the Michigan AgrAbility Project Affiliate. Vicki Janisch, Outreach Specialist with AgrAbility of Wisconsin and partners in the AATT Project managing the on-line training component of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project.April 18-19 2012 AgrAbility of Wisconsin was part of the Agricultural Assistive Technology Training in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. more


Wyoming AgrAbility released its annual newsletter insert, which was distributed throughout Wyoming in the Casper Star Tribune on April 26. Articles covered topics including assistive technology, horticulture therapy, posttraumatic stress disorder, and accessible recreation.

Wyoming AgrAbility presented a workshop on Assistive Technology, Safety, and AgrAbility on April 2 for Annie's Project. Annie's Project is a risk management educational program targeting women in agriculture.

Staff Changes


Congratulations to Paige Eckert, Oklahoma AgrAbility graduate research assistant. She has defended her Master's Thesis on "Distal and Proximal Influence of Trauma Events on the Well-Being of Centenarians" and will be graduating in May from the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University. Paige has worked with the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project for two years assisting in research, education, and outreach to develop quality materials and programming efforts. Good luck to Paige as she begins her professional journey!

West Virginia

Mary Slabinski-Schmidt, who served as program specialist for West Virginia AgrAbility, resigned May 8. We wish her luck in her new position with the state's TBI project in Charleston.

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,