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October 2012


Nebraska AgrAbility staff promoted the project at Husker Harvest Days, the premier farm show in Nebraska. Along with displays and ergonomic tools, Anna Lewandowski, OT graduate student, promoted preventative stretching for farmers/ranchers with a display, hand outs, and a DVD. Rod Peterson, rural rehabilitation specialist, was interviewed by a regional television station about the project and coordinated the effort. Peer supporters served as hosts for the exhibit, meeting and greeting potential clients and promoting the project.

Teens and pre-teens learned more about disabilities on the farm and preventative stretching as NE AgrAbility staff Rod Peterson and Anna Lewandowski set up educational sessions at the Carnival of Safety in Minden. Nearly 300 youth in 5th-8th grades and their teachers and staff took part in the day that provided a carnival atmosphere for safety messages from machinery to grain to electricity and more. Six educational sessions were offered as well as 20 demonstrations and short safety messages in exhibitor booths. Youth learned about PTO hazards, ATV safety, grain entrapment, seat belts, and other rural safety measures.

Nearly 150 youngsters, grades K-6th, took part in the Franklin Safety Day at school. Sharry Nielsen piloted a mini-session "Kids Get Arthritis, Too" adapted from lessons written by Amber Wolfe, National Arthritis Foundation. Rod Peterson presented a session on disability awareness, and Anna Lewandowski taught "Stretch B4 U Go." Students learned the importance of daily stretching and being ergonomic as they work or play.

Submitted by Sharry Nielsen