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December 2012


Sharry Nielsen and Anna Lewandowski attended the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Conference in Cedar Rapids, IA. The conference focus was prevention of and rescue from confined space entrapments. Anna, who is a graduate OT student working with Nebraska AgrAbility this semester, presented a poster session on "The Role of Occupational Therapy in Farm Injury Prevention."

The Center for Rural Affairs aired a webinar for the Veteran Farmers Project on resources available for returning veterans to begin or expand farming operations. Nebraska AgrAbility presented a segment, giving an overview of the project, including contact information for the National Project as well as local contacts. Sharry Nielsen joined staff from CFRA, Nebraska Farmers Union, the Farmer Veteran Coalition, FSA, and two successful "beginning farmers" from Nebraska for the presentation. Thirty-eight attendees from several states participated.

Following a needs assessment survey to help determine programming direction for education on pain and injury prevention done in October and November, Anna Lewandowski, OT graduate student with Nebraska AgrAbility, presented her findings to the NE team and via webinar to the Nebraska Advisory Committee and AgrAbility Peers. Comments from the viewers will be used for programming in 2013 and shared at stakeholder meetings early in the new year.

The Nebraska AgrAbility project received a $10,000 grant from DuPont Pioneer to help fund AT for clients with temporary disabilities, such as following major surgeries or before funding for permanent solutions can be obtained. The Nebraska project has seen an increase in requests for such a service in the past few years, and has worked with local organizations to meet the need. The grant will provide funds to purchase higher cost AT on a loan basis.

Submitted by Sharry Nielsen