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July 2012


Ohio AgrAbility was pleased to partner with Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living (SOCIL) at three events this spring. SOCIL is an organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities live as independently as possible. At the first event in March, located in Lancaster at the Fairfield County OSU Extension Office, Kent McGuire, AgrAbility's education coordinator, presented "Agriculture for All Ages: Preparing for the New Season and Celebrating Agriculture in Fairfield County."The event was attended by students and farmers of all ages. The primary focus was to create an understanding of how AgrAbility provides technical assistance, information, and recommendations for adaptations, and prevention tips so farmers can maintain productivity on their farms. The event was also attended by ten agriculture organizations including the Fairfield County Farm Bureau, the local Food Council, OSU Extension, Land Preservation Association, the Farm Service Agency, and Future Farmers of America.

In April, Ohio AgrAbility presented the program "Raised Garden Beds and other Alternatives to Planting Flower and Vegetable Gardens." The presentation opened people's eyes to how much bending and stretching is involved in planting seeds, pulling weeds, and picking flowers and vegetables. An emphasis was placed on the importance of preventing overexertion injuries, taking breaks in the shade, and how repetitive tasks can lead to injury. Ohio AgrAbility provided information sheets with helpful tips for gardeners along with a list of suggestions to prevent work injuries in the yard and garden. Fairfield County Master Gardeners helped promote the program.

In May, Kent McGuire was a panel speaker in Logan, Ohio, at the Independence by Design Conference. This event was co-sponsored by the Southeast Ohio Aging & Disability Resource Network, the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, and SOCIL. The conference was offered for people to learn about the latest in universal design and technology options available to support independent living for people of all ages and disabilities.

Submitted by Kent McGuire