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December 2012

North Carolina

In October, Project Coordinator Michele Proctor, Project PI Dr. Jimo Ibrahim of NCA and TSU, and Project Partner Robin Tutor-Marcom of the NC Agromedicine Institute represented NC AgrAbility at the first North Carolina Agricultural Safety and Health Symposium in Kannapolis, at the North Carolina Research Campus. NC AgrAbility had the show-and-tell tool kit available along with project literature and NAP video. Attendees of the symposium were from many different communities of interest involved in various aspects of agriculture and agricultural safety & health from across the state.

Dr. Mary Hildebrand, assistant professor of occupational therapy, and Dr. Sue Leach, assistant professor of physical therapy, both from East Carolina University, co-presented at the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association and the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association statewide fall conferences in October. Their presentations discussed farming in North Carolina, ergonomic problems associated with modern agriculture, musculoskeletal disorders associated with farming, and an introduction to the NC AgrAbility Project. Approximately 50 occupational and physical therapists attended the presentations and received continuing education credits.

The project has been represented at 10 other meetings and events since October 1, including the Southeastern Strawberry Expo, where Nick Turkas of the Arthritis Foundation Mid-Atlantic Region joined NC staff to help talk to folks about AgrAbility and arthritis. Additionally, Michele Proctor of NC AgrAbility was a guest lecturer to occupational therapy students and agricultural engineering students at East Carolina University, and students at NC State University to talk about challenges of farming with disabilities and solutions.

NC AgrAbility, through the NC Agromedicine Institute, wrote a successful grant to Ag Carolina Financial for $5,000 that will enable the project to provide a 50/50 cost share, or up to $500 per farmer to assist them in purchasing assistive technology identified during AgrAbility farm assessments. The grant covers farmers in the 34 county Ag Carolina Financial service area.

Submitted by Michele Proctor