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June 2012


The KY AgrAbility team has attended several events in the past months and is looking forward to a full summer. In addition to the monthly "Third Thursday Thing" held at the Kentucky State University Research Farm in Frankfort, Kentucky, April had the team going in several directions. A meeting in early April with the Bourbon County, Kentucky Goat Association led to discussions on the needs of the aging farm population. Spanish versions of the AgrAbility brochure and the Arthritis brochure along with English versions were given to be distributed in the area. Staff members also met with the Bullitt County Beef Cattle Association and presented the AgrAbility: It's About Hope video. AgrAbility partners Beth Hunter from Lexington's Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and Pat Kitzman from the University of Kentucky Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program presented a session on AgrAbility at the National Rural Health Conference in Colorado during mid April.

John Hancock, Kentucky AgrAbility project director, and Robin Stroud, OT from Cardinal Hill, attended the AOTA conference in Indianapolis April 25-28. Many of the occupational therapists stopping at the booth during the conference were interested in the help that AgrAbility offers to the farming community. KY AgrAbility has had a number of calls from attendees that have changed the focus of their education to deal with farming issues.

In early May, Linda Bokros, project coordinator, attended the Rochester, NY workshop focusing on the opportunities in agriculture for veterans. The workshop highlighted some of the challenges faced by veterans in obtaining services. Those attending the session went to a small organic dairy farm and spent time with the couple that owns the operation to see firsthand the obstacles they are experiencing.

On June 13 and 14 Kentucky AgrAbility and their partners will be hosting the 9th Annual Summer Institute in Assistive Technology Workshop. This year the event will have more attendees than any of the previous events. The two day event at the KSU Research Farm will include topics from iPads to raised bed gardening. The link to the event can be found at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture website,

On the home front the program has been able to help several Kentucky farmers get back to the business of farming. With the help of the state vocational rehabilitation agency and other organizations, Kentucky has a farmer that is now able to get back in the fields after cancer and other problems kept him from being able to work, a farmer that has COPD that kept him out of the family dairy and cheese operation, another farmer that is better able to do his online livestock sales business, and others that just needed to know that life on the farm is still an option.
Submitted by Linda Bokros