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May 2014

National AgrAbility Project

SRAPs and prospective SRAPs submitting competitive proposals this year may want to review the recording of the May 7 webinar by Aida Balsano at Various aspects of the proposal process are discussed, as well as questions from webinar participants.

Grant application instructions and other details are available at farmerswithdisabilities.cfm

The NAP is available to assist SRAPs in accordance with the information listed on page 8 of the RFA. However, the NAP does not provide any letters of support to SRAP applicants.

Join AgrAbility at the RESNA conference on June 11-15 in Indianapolis and/or the ISASH conference on June 22-26 in Omaha. The NAP is scheduled to present a pre-conference session at RESNA on Thursday, June 12 on AT and Safety in Agriculturally-Related Workplaces. Staff members are invited to join the NAP for dinner at ISASH on Tuesday night, June 24. RSVP to Bill Field by May 15 to secure your dinner reservation.

The NAP recently added a back health page to its website at It includes the recently published BACK on the Farm, BACK in the Saddle: A Guide to Back Health in Agriculture in accessible PDF format. Also posted are multiple back-related resources from the Arkansas AgrAbility Project and Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Farm Workers in English and Spanish from the CDC.

Amber Wolfe, national partner from the Arthritis Foundation, presented two arthritis workshops with support from AgrAbility states. A full-day workshop was offered to the public in Orrville, Ohio on March 5 and an evening workshop was offered to the public in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 6. Both events had support from the Ohio and Pennsylvania AgrAbility projects, as well as the local Arthritis Foundation offices. Kent McGuire (Ohio AgrAbility) and Erica Bobbitt (Pennsylvania AgrAbility) assisted Amber in the presentations. Along with these public workshops, Amber also hosted a staff training on AgrAbility for the Arthritis Foundation's Great Lakes regional staff in Cleveland, Ohio on the morning of March 6.

A second national arthritis and agriculture onference is being planned, and a committee has been formed. This national conference is scheduled for 2015, and more details will be forthcoming. There are still positions available on the planning committee; contact Amber Wolfe at for more information.

A new gardening and arthritis resource is being created. The planning committee has had their first call and ideas for the booklet are plentiful. This booklet will take the place of the Arthritis Foundation's "Gardening and Arthritis" brochure that is being taken out of publication.

Amber Wolfe participated in the National Training Workshop, serving on the planning committee, organizing the hospitality suite, state displays, and auctions, and presented both a poster on arthritis and driving farm machinery and a session (with Randy Weigel, Wyoming AgrAbility) on cold weather and arthritis.

Submitted by Amber Wolfe

The National AgrAbility Advisory Team met in Indianapolis on April 29-30. Members from as far away as New Mexico and Washington, D.C. participated in two days of fruitful discussions. Topics included updates from NIFA, the current state of evaluating AgrAbility’s services, and outreach to veterans.

A great discussion was held and good information received on AgrAbility and the 1890 Land Grant Institutions. Dr. Marion Simon of Kentucky State University was present to share as a representative of the 1890 Institutions, and Aida Balsano, national program leader with USDA/NIFA, participated via teleconference. Chuck Baldwin, NAP's liaison to the 1890s, led the session.

In addition to sharing relevant background material about the 1890s and their constituencies, Dr. Simon communicated the importance of working with those constituencies in a show and tell manner, since many prefer learning by seeing/experiencing rather than by reading instructions. She also mentioned the significance of using speakers of the same gender and race as the audience at any given meeting.

Means of encouraging these agricultural workers to see that they need help with their disabilities were discussed and helpful suggestions given. The necessity of improved collaboration in AgrAbility projects between the 1862 and the 1890 Institutions was acknowledged by everyone involved in the meeting as a priority for the future.

Submitted by Chuck Baldwin