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May 2013


The Nebraska project sponsored a workshop for occupational and physical therapists, "Rehabilitating Farmers and Ranchers with Disabilities," in the north central part of the state. Thirteen health professionals from as far as 100 miles away attended the single-day training to receive AOTA-approved CEUs. The lead instructor for the workshop was Dr. Christine Hutchinson, PTD, from St. Francis Rehabilitation Clinic. Other presenters included Rod Peterson, Del Ficke, Sharry Nielsen, Kelly Gewecke (ESN work incentive specialist), and Angela Baker (VR counselor). Clients from the area hosted the group to show a variety of AT and adaptations made at their farm sites. Displays on NE AgrAbility, Arthritis and Agriculture, and ESN were set up.

AgrAbility staff Nancy Frecks, Sharry Nielsen, Del Ficke, and Rod Peterson attended the NTW in Minneapolis with guest OT Dr. Anna Lewandowski. Anna and Rod presented a session on the benefits of OTs in their clinical rotation partnering with AgrAbility projects and the win-win situation it provides. A state table was set up highlighting the educational aspect Anna focused on during her rotation, preventing MSD, and the marketing brochure the NE project developed.

4-H Discovery Night provides an opportunity for non-4-H youth to learn about the program, and for those already enrolled in 4-H to see new projects. Sharry Nielsen, UNL Extension educator with NE AgrAbility, used two lessons developed to teach youngsters about arthritis and the benefits of stretching to prevent MSDs to highlight the "Youth in Motion" 4-H project at two 4-H Discovery Nights. About 130 youth and parents attended the two nights.

Submitted by Sharry Nielsen