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May 2014

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility was represented by one of the largest state delegations at the 2014 NTW in Lexington, Kentucky March 31-April 3. Eight NC farmers and their spouses attended thanks to NAP farmer scholarships. In addition to farmers, various partner representatives and students participating in NC AgrAbility student projects brought NC's attendance to a total of 13. NC AgrAbility presented project display and educational materials as well as five research posters. Congratulations to Project Coordinator Michele Proctor, who received one of the 2014 Breaking New Ground Achievement Awards, presented by Dr. Bill Field of the National AgrAbility Project. NC AgrAbility's social media was buzzing with activity of the NTW from staff and farmer photos, reaching over 1,369 viewers.

Later that same week, students from project partner NC State University Department of Bio & Ag Engineering Helen Peel and Brent Jones represented the AgrAbility community at the 2014 National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Lexington with their NC AgrAbility student design research poster titled "Accessible Gardening Vehicle for Operators with Limited Mobility." Accompanied by Project Coordinator Michele Proctor, Brent and Helen represented AgrAbility to more than 4,000 attendees. They later presented the poster again at the 2014 NC State University Undergraduate Research Symposium April 14 in Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Mary Hildebrand and her MSTO students Cassie Joyner, Susan Prince, Madeline McCauley, Elisabeth Sitton, Sarah Timmons, and PhD student Matthew Gallagher presented the NC AgrAbility display, show and tell tool kit, and educational materials, as well as two continuing-education-credit sessions at the 2014 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo in Baltimore, Maryland April 3-6. These two presentations titled "The OT Role in Helping Farmers with Disabilities: A New State Affiliate of the National AgrAbility Project" and "The Special Needs of Aging Farmers: Occupational Therapy Interventions" were well attended. Congratulations to Dr. Hildebrand and her team for a fantastic week.

Dr. Mary Hildebrand presented the NC AgrAbility curriculum to students at the University of North Carolina Occupational Therapy program on April 20. Dr. Hildebrand will also be leading a CEU workshop in Kannapolis on May 30 titled "Cultivating Accessible Agriculture with NC AgrAbility Partnership". Contact NC AgrAbility with questions or to register.

The NC AgrAbility student projects for 2013-2014 have been completed. NCSU Ag Engineering teams presented the Farmers Market Lift and Garden Scooter 2.0 design prototypes on April 24. Guests from the NC Agromedicine Institute and NC Department of Agriculture were present along with fellow NCSU students, faculty, and staff. The East Carolina University occupational therapy students presented their research on pressure mapping in agricultural equipment operator stations and farming with arthritis and chronic pain. These presentations were made May 1 in Greenville, NC. Congratulations to all of the NC AgrAbility students on a job well done.

Submitted by Michele Proctor