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February 2014


KY AgrAbility is getting ready for the National Training Workshop. The staff can't wait to show off their beautiful state and they encourage everyone to come. There is plenty to do and see in this area apart from the conference, and it would make a great vacation for the family.

Like most areas Kentucky is being hit hard by winter weather, and staff have had to curtail some travel right now; however, John Hancock, KY project director, was able to attend the two day KY Beef Cattle Conference in Lexington earlier this month.

In early February, KY AgrAbility will have a booth at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The show is the largest indoor farm machinery show in the United States and over 400,000 will attend the February 12-15 event. Look for the project in the West Wing Lobby.

While working on the NTW, KY AgrAbility is also working with sponsors to plan the 11th Annual Summer Assistive Technology Workshop. This event is held each year in June or July and has seen a steady growth in attendance. The AT workshop is aimed at professionals working with handicap individuals in all ages and disabilities. The event is hosted by UK Human Development Institute, KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and KY AgrAbility. Last year's attendance for the two day event was more than 125 each day, and the conference offered continuing education sessions for the OTs, PTs, and others professionals. For more information on this event contact the KY AgrAbility Program.

KY AgrAbility has joined with the KY Department of Agriculture in promoting the Homegrown by Heroes effort for farmer veterans. In December it was announced that this program will be going national with the help of the Veteran Farmer Coalition.

Another project that was begun last year was the "Healing Garden" at Ft. Knox, KY. This is a collaboration with Brain Injury Alliance of KY (BIAK), UK Extension offices, KY State University, and KY AgrAbility. The garden is located on the Army base at Ft. Knox, allowing the soldiers access to the garden for therapy. The garden was added in time for an initial crop of vegetables, and included in the area is a pawpaw orchard. This year the group will expand on the vegetable garden and develop more of the area for soldiers.

Ky AgrAbility continues to attend each of KY State University's "Third Thursday Event," held at the KSU Demonstration Farm south of Frankfort, KY. This meeting of small farm owners and those interested in agriculture offers a chance to meet the small and minority farmers and discuss unique opportunities for them and ways AgrAbility may be able to help them. Attendance for these day long events is approximately 100, and each event is geared toward a different topic in agriculture. January focused on grapes and value added products.

Take care for the rest of the winter and we hope to see you in Kentucky in the spring.

Submitted by Linda Bokros