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July 2014

National AgrAbility Project

AgrAbility Regional Training Workshops Coming Soon! Pittsburgh Regional Training Workshop: July 29-July 30; Colorado Regional Training Workshop: September 30 – October 1.

AgrAbility Regional Training Workshops are a great way to network with AgrAbility peers and other professionals that have a role in assisting our clients. The following opportunities to join one of the regional events are available:

Pittsburgh AgrAbility Regional Training Workshop
July 29-July 30, 2014
Register now via the Following Link:

The Pittsburgh Regional Training Workshop will focus on AT funding sources, project sustainability, working effectively with occupational therapists and understanding veterans issues. There will also be time to share information, ideas and success stories with other AgrAbility projects and professionals serving individuals and their families through injury, illness, disability, and chronic conditions. Farm tours on day two will allow us to see it all in action!

Colorado AgrAbility Regional Training Workshop
September 30 – October 1, 2014
Register Now via the Following Link:

Colorado State University Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) will be the host of this event, providing an awesome backdrop for learning. Sessions on business planning, niche farming, farm assessments and financial assistance for farmers.

Tours on Wednesday will be done at ARDEC, an off-campus farm, working livestock facility and horticulture field research center under the direction of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station. Located just four miles north of Fort Collins, ARDEC consists of 1,065 total acres. Sixty-five acres are located at the Horticulture Field Research Center and the remaining 1,000 acres surround the main ARDEC site and livestock facility. Plenty of spaces and places to apply farm assessment strategies under the direction of Steve Swain from the National AgrAbility Project.

For more details, please contact National AgrAbility Partners at Goodwill:
Tess McKeel 585-447.9015
JoBeth Rath 585.447.9015

An AgrAbility workshop is to be held on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus August 14-15, 2014. This workshop is primarily aimed at representatives of the 1890 Land Grant Institutions in Maryland and the surrounding states, though representatives from any 1890 institution are welcome. The goal is to inform the attendees about AgrAbility and to foster an attitude of cooperation between the various 1890s, their SRAPs, and the NAP.

For more information, contact Chuck Baldwin at

A 2nd National Arthritis Conference 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. The next planning call is August 20th at 12:00 P.M. EST.

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. The next scheduled planning call is July 14th at 2:00 P.M. EST.

Submitted by Amber Wolfe

The National AgrAbility Project staffed an exhibit at the RESNA Conference (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 12-14, 2014. The conference was attended by over 400 individuals from the United States and other countries. The exhibit provided contact information on state and regional AgrAbility Projects, AgrAbility services, AgrAbility case studies, National AgrAbility videos, and The Toolbox Assistive Technology Database.

The National AgrAbility Project also conducted a full-day instructional course on AT and Safety in Agriculturally-Related Workplaces. The course included a classroom session, a visit to Life Essentials to see their products, and a visit to an AgrAbility client. Handout materials included Conducting Agricultural Worksite Assessments and Evaluating Agricultural Workplace Assistive Technology for Secondary Injury Hazards. The class was small but very engaged and had excellent comments following the session.

Submitted by Steve Swain

Amber Wolfe, national partner from the Arthritis Foundation, attended the Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) Conference in Portland, Oregon, June 23-25. This conference allowed Amber to share information about AgrAbility, as well as to network with Ag Communicators, increasing her knowledge of media, outreach, and technology education and promotion.

Networking Resource Highlight: National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's primary mission is to build the capacity of its members to help older persons and persons with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

As we work to meet the needs of our clients, we are increasingly aware that the average age of the American farmer is increasing. It's not just that farmers are among America's oldest workers – their average age also has been growing rapidly for about 30 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Census of Agriculture. This census, which is published every five years, shows that during the last 30 years, the average age of U.S. farmers has grown by nearly eight years, from 50.5 years to 58.3 years. (For more detail on these figures, please see the US News Article: The Rapidly Aging U.S. Farmer)

Meeting the needs of the aging farmer may, or may not be in our area of expertise. Age can bring with it the familiar barriers with which we work: arthritis, vision loss, hearing loss and mobility limitations. But it also brings Alzheimer's disease, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung conditions, poor kidney function, gastrointestinal issues, oral health issues and other disorders that may not be in our area of expertise.

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging is a portal to connect you to resources within your area that can assist your clients, or their family members, with issues related to aging that fall outside our areas of expertise. To find your local resources, visit the Eldercare Locator at the following link: By entering the zip code of your client, you can find the resources available, and their location.

Besides locating services, searching for a condition or topic can also uncover valuable resources, online links to information, and brochures that you can take to your client's farm. offers many resources on issues common in our work, including home modifications, mobility and caregiving.

If you are not networked with your local offices for the aging, make a phone call today!

Submitted by JoBeth Rat