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January 2013

North Carolina

2012 has been a fruitful and productive year for NC AgrAbility. 2012 marked the beginning of the SRAP's second year and the beginning of exponential growth for NC's project with new partnerships and connections, continuing education sessions, and statewide outreach.

NCSU Ag Engineering students gave presentations in early December on their research and design ideas for agricultural assistive technology. Next semester the students will begin building their designs and present their final prototypes in May 2013.

Michele Proctor, project coordinator for NC AgrAbility, gave a one-hour continuing education session at the GREAT Conference for Assistive Technology at the Raleigh Convention Center December 6. Joined by Disability Resource Center for Independent Living representative Gloria Garton and NCSU Agricultural Engineering representative Dr. Gary Roberson, P.E., the session titled NC AgrAbility: Accessibility Solutions for Agricultural and Rural Environments focused on educating attendees on the challenges in assisting farmers, specialized assistive technology for farming applications, and resources for assisting farmers with disabilities. More than 70 rehabilitation counselors attended the session.

The NC AgrAbility Partnership and the NC Agromedicine Institute were honored on December 12 at Rose Hill Plantation as a 2012 Ag Carolina Financial Grant Recipient. The grant for $5,000 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