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March 2013

National AgrAbility Project News

Register soon for the AgrAbility National Training Workshop. Earlybird registration closes at midnight March 15 and all registration ends on April 5. There will be no on-site registration. Click here for the registration website. If you have any trouble registering, call Kylie Hendress at 765-494-6679 or Cathy Walters at 765-494-2758.

Hotel room reservations for the NTW can be made by phone at 952-835-7800 or online on the AgrAbility NTW reservation website. The deadline is March 29. Additional accessible rooms are available at the nearby Sofitel Hotel. more

The AgrAbility webinar Visual Impairments and Their Relevance to Agriculture has been archived at along with a variety of resources on visual impairments.

The February 21 all-staff call has been archived on the Extranet under the Resources link. If you did not receive an Extranet login and password, contact Cliff Racz at

Amber Wolfe served on the planning committee for the Midwest Women in Agriculture conference, held Feb. 21-22 in Columbus, IN. more

Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility project coordinator for the Arthritis Foundation, has completed a survey of Arthritis Foundation staff related to the need for programs on arthritis in rural America. more

The Rural Arthritis Curriculum Resource (RACR) lesson plans for agricultural education instructors and FFA advisors are currently being pilot-tested in classrooms around Indiana, and final edits are being made. more

Click here for the schedule of upcoming Community of Interest and Standing Committee call information.

Toolbox Spotlight
Spring is almost here, and the Toolbox has some new items to help prepare for the new planting season. more

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News

Arkansas AgrAbility table at the Flower and Garden Show.Arkansas

Arkansas AgrAbility staff worked the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in February.


California participants doing some arthritis exercises.In January, CalAgrAbility conducted three "Taking the Reins: Living & Working on California Farms" workshops, one in English and two in Spanish, serving a total of 100 farm families. more

The audience for the California migrant education conference.CalAg staff was invited to conduct a Spanish "Taking the Reins program" at the Migrant Education Region 2 annual "Juntos Podemos Crecer" parent conference, where parents are taught different methods to become more involved in their children's education, as well as explained different topics related to agriculture. more

CalAg staff conducted a site visit for a female farmer in Tehama County who had a spinal tumor removed in 2009, which lead to limited mobility in her hands and back pain. more

CalAg has been updating Twitter regularly with news and events in California, as well as in other states. Follow CalAgrAbility on Twitter at


Georgia AgrAbility staff met with Commissioner Gary Black, Georgia Department of Agriculture, in his office in Atlanta to discuss AgrAbility and what it means to farmers and ranchers in Georgia as well as nationwide. more


Breaking New Ground/Indiana AgrAbility exhibited and participated in the 1st Annual Purdue Extension Indiana Small Farm Conference, held March 1-2 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Indiana. more

Amber Wolfe and Roberta Schweitzer, IN AgrAbility consultant, hosted a two-day Mental Health First Aid training course in Frankfort, IN on Feb. 7-8. more

Amber Wolfe presented a two-hour arthritis workshop to the Area Agency on Aging in Fort Wayne, IN on February 28. more

During the last month, Carl Jenkins attended and set up displays at three Soil and Water Conservation meetings. more


This month the KY AgrAbility was at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. more

The 10th Annual Summer Institute in Assistive Technology workshop will be held at the Kentucky State Research and Demonstration Farm in Frankfort on July 10-11. more

The Lego League asked KY AgrAbility to help find a senior farmer to help in their mission for a "Senior Solutions" team project. more

March 13 is the Ag Legacy Field Day High Tunnel Workday and Fish Fry sponsored by KY AgrAbility, Grow Appalachia, Growing Warriors, and Agriculture Legacy Initiative. more

A new project with the KY State Department of Agriculture is Homegrown by Heroes, part of the Kentucky Proud Project and the Kentucky Proud Jobs for Vets initiative, will help military farmers and their families pursue careers in agriculture. more


Mid-Atlantic staff spoke at the 2013 New Jersey Agricultural Convention and Trade Show on February 5 in Atlantic City, NJ.

A Mental Health First Aid webinar is scheduled on February 27 in cooperation with the Mental Health Association of Maryland.

Mid-Atlantic staff members are speaking at a Resource Collaboration for Veterans in Salisbury, Maryland on March 15.


With only four weeks to go, the Minnesota AgrAbility Project along with the National Training Workshop Planning Committee is in the final stages of preparation for the 2013 NTW. more

The Minnesota AgrAbility Project hosted a booth at the Central Minnesota Farm Show at the St. Cloud Rivers Edge Convention Center, located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. more


Willard Downs facilitated February's AgrAbility Adobe Connect meeting for campus-based agricultural systems management and statewide regional extension faculty.

Pharmacy students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy at Columbia participated in the Health and Safety Area at the 52nd Annual Western Farm Show on Saturday, February 23. more

MU Extension AgrAbility staff members participated in an arthritis sustainability conference. more

MU Extension AgrAbility staff members and administrators from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy at MU met to map out the Rural Pharmacy Practice Elective APPE offered throughout Mid-Missouri. more

Willard Downs and Karen Funkenbusch are in the final phase of completing simple fee for service agreements between MO Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, and MU Extension MO AgrAbility Project.

Jackie Allenbrand did a presentation on AgrAbility, MERIL services, and PHARM Dog to the Andrew County Senior Center in Savannah, MO. more


Certified Safe Farm training was conducted February 6-8 by the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, with instructors Dr. Risto Rautiainen and LaMar Grafft. more

Over 100 participants stopped at the NE AgrAbility booth at the Buffalo Bill Farm and Ranch Expo. more

"Kids Get Arthritis, Too," a prevention lesson for youth, was presented at Nebraska's Healthy Farms Conference Kids Sessions. more

The NE AgrAbility Advisory Committee met for its annual gathering despite a pending blizzard. more

Nebraska's Women in Ag Conference was held in February with NE AgrAbility staffing a booth on Arthritis and Agriculture. more

NE AgrAbility staff met with the newly appointed Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Department director, Judy Vohland, following the retirement of long-time Program Director Dennis King. more

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility had its first Peer Farmer Lunch in late January 2013. more

NC AgrAbility had a front row spot at the 2013 Southern Farm Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds January 30-February 1. more

Michele Proctor, project coordinator, attended the Georgia AgrAbility webinar "Tools & Tool Adaptations for Farmers with Disabilities" on February 4.

The NC AgrAbility Advisory Board had their quarterly meeting at NC State University on February 6.

NC AgrAbility made five other professional presentations and three representations in the month of February.


On February 19, the Ohio AgrAbility Project hosted a national workshop "Building Independence through Agriculture for People with Developmental Disabilities." more

Ohio AgrAbility has been working with two University of Dayton engineering classes to design a greenhouse to meet the needs of individuals in wheelchairs. more


Oklahoma AgrAbility staff members Jan Johnston and Sandra Stevenson launched the first pilot field test of training modules to 23 Oklahoma Home and Community Extension members. more

Sandra Stevenson, assistive technology professional and program manager 4-H club members for Oklahoma AgrAbility, conducted a hands-on, interactive training for six 4-H club members and six adults in Delaware County. more

Linda Jaco, Oklahoma AgrAbility co-director, provided training to 46 returning veterans at the Veterans Entrepreneurial Program on February 7, 2013. She also presented on February 15, 2013 to 50 OSU School of Osteopathic Medicine students considering rural residency programs throughout Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service’s NW district program specialist, Recia Garcia, represented the AgrAbility Project to approximately 200 attendees at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s “Oklahoma Farmers Markets and Plasticulture Workshop: Growing in tough times” held on February 9, 2013.


Tom Younkman has started the new Mental Health First Aid USA course training that is being given throughout the country by locally trained Mental Health providers.

Sugar makers are getting ready to start tapping trees and boiling sweet sap to make maple syrup: a sure sign of spring.


Wyoming AgrAbility has been invited to produce quarterly articles on health and safety topics pertinent to ranching and farming for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. The most recent article, Agricultural Workers Face Cold Stress Hazards, was published February 9, 2013.

Wyoming AgrAbility staff presented Tools for the Enabled Garden at Farm and Ranch Days in Riverton on January 31.

Staff Changes


Toby Woodson is the new AgrAbility program coordinator for Arkansas. Her email address is:


Sally Van Schaik with Easter Seals has retired as Case Manager for the Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project (MAAP).

Joyce Medkeff with Easter Seals is the newly appointed Case Manager with MAAP and covers Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Mike Love with the University of Delaware is serving as co-director of the Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project.

James Scott with the University of Delaware will be doing site evaluations and speaking at farm meetings in Delaware and the Eastern shore of Maryland.


Welcome Emily Dye! Emily joined the team in February as a technical writer while completing her graduate studies at Oklahoma State University.

AgrAbility in the News

Click here for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Other News

Click here for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.

Upcoming Events

Click here for professional development events related to AgrAbility.

Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,