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November 2014

National AgrAbility Project News

AgrAbility webinar: Arthritis Pain Management, Tuesday, November 18 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Registration ends today! More

AgrAbility Virtual NTW December 2-4: check out the sessions and register by November 26. More

Rochester NTW Updates:

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, with Cindy ChastainSecretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack learned more about AgrAbility through a stop at the NAP’s National FFA Convention display. More

Pittsburgh, PAChuck Baldwin represented the NAP at the 2014 East Coast Migrant Stream Forum, held in Pittsburgh, PA, October 23-25. More

Though mistakenly omitted from the USDA press release on new AgrAbility projects, the Arthritis Foundation, Heartland Region is still a vital partner on the NAP!

Steve Swain led training on work-site assessments at Missouri's recent AgrAbility training workshop.

Click here for the schedule of upcoming Community of Interest and Standing Committee call information.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


Arkansas AgrAbility created an exercise routine to do in your chair, at your desk at work or in any other location. This was in response to client needs for exercise while confined to a chair. Feel free to use attached files in your programs. Deskercise explanation. Deskercise photos.


Fall farm festivals are in full swing, and CalAgrAbility connected with farmers at the harvest festival in the Capay Valley, CA, sponsored by one of CalAg's consumers. More

For Disability Employment Month, CalAg spoke with hundreds of families at rural health and disability fairs in Lodi, Winters, and Davis, CA. More

Temple Grandin"Whoa, I've seen her before!" Yes, Temple Grandin, who spoke at an NTW, was featured at the UC Davis disability health fair with a presentation on ADHD sponsored by the UC Davis Mind Institute (a leader in autism research). More

Over 60 Placer County master gardeners attended CalAg's "Gardening and Farming with Disabilities" workshop in Auburn, CA. More

The California state NRCS office invited staff to conduct a statewide "rehabilitating farmers" workshop. More

The CalAgrAbility team met with our new Ability Tools partner, whose mission it is to connect Californians with disabilities to technology devices, tools, and services to make life easier. More

CalAgrAbility continues to use twitter. Follow us at


Indiana AgrAbility staffed a display at the 2014 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Professional Development Conference held in West Lafayette, Indiana. More

Steve Swain, the rural rehabilitation specialist for Indiana AgrAbility, made a presentation to the Purdue University Collegiate FFA chapter about AgrAbility services and the Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest. More

The Purdue University Ag Council hosted a pork barbecue cookout for the College of Agriculture that benefited Indiana AgrAbility. More

Carl Jenkins attended two farm tours - one in Floyd County and the other in Washington County. He also worked the booth at the FFA Convention in Louisville, KY, two days.


Kentucky AgrAbility is gearing up for the next four years. Project staff have been working with its partners to extend the AgrAbility program to all parts of the commonwealth with emphasis on veterans and aging.

In September, the Kentucky Occupational Therapist Association held their conference in Lexington, where KY AgrAbility had a display, and informed those attending about the goals of the AgrAbility project.

KY AgrAbility recently met with Extension agents from all 120 counties to update them on the availability of AgrAbility services for their constituents. This was incorporated into the two-day training session held each fall for all agents.

KY AgrAbility attended the National FFA Convention on October 29-November 1 in Louisville.

This fall the KY project has worked with Russell County for the Children's Ag Safety Day to make them aware of the hazards of working around the farm. Franklin and Meade counties also had an Ag Appreciation Day.

Taking the AgrAbility display to the Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network Conference on the campus of EKU in Richmond, KY, staff were able to meet and talk to a number of occupational and physical therapists and other students that are interested in helping people involved in agriculture that have disabilities.


AgrAbiliyt booth at American Dairy Goat Association conventionAgrAbility was an exhibitor at the week-long American Dairy Goat Association convention in Portland, ME, that hosts 300-500 dairy goat enthusiasts from the US, Canada and several other countries. More

AgrAbility staff presented AgrAbility 101 to its nonprofit partners at the all-staff annual meeting. There were 30 Alpha One staff from across the state and four AgrAbility staff present to discuss the AgrAbility program.

Horse at Veterans workshopMaine AgrAbility hosted a Demonstration of Therapeutic Horsemanship for Veterans workshop at Thistle Ridge Equestrian Centre in Smithfield, ME. More


Missouri staff members conducted five diverse and unique AgrAbility trainings this month:
* AgrAbility in-service at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, MO.
Veteran Brian Andrews and Small Farm National Conference* Let's Talk About Arthritis - Hablemos Sobre Artritis workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina.
* Unique Needs and How to Help Military Personnel and Families Navigate the Community Provider System at the Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIDr. K.B. Paul and Karen FunkenbuschA-MO) 10th Annual Statewide Conference.
* Armed to Farm, on Veterans transitioning to agriculture from military service at the 22nd National Small Farm Trade Show & Conference.
* Missouri's first AgrAbility training workshop of the new grant cycle at Lincoln University. More

Nearly 150 survivors of brain injury, family members and professionals became aware of AgrAbility at the Brain Injury Association of Missouri Survivor and Family Seminar – Eastern Missouri that was held on October 18, 2014.
* Zane Volkmann received the "Courage Award".
Linda Geist and Maureen Cunningham with Excellence Award* Karen Funkenbusch, Director Missouri AgrAbility Project, and Linda Geist, Extension Communications Senior Information Specialist, received the "Service Excellence Award - Public Relations".
* Karen Funkenbusch also received the Epsilon Sigma Phi "Outstanding State Extension Faculty" award. More

karen Funkenbusch and Joseph Brajdich with Poster AwardJoseph Brajdich, intern with the Missouri AgrAbility Project, presented during the Poster Session at the 2014 MU Extension Program Conference. More

Maureen Cunningham, executive director for the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, attended the support group in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to share information about AgrAbility. More

North Carolina

The Arthritis Foundation - Mid-Atlantic Region, in partnership with the NC AgrAbility Partnership and North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, would like to thank everyone who joined us for the Let's Talk About Arthritis - Hablemos Sobre Artritis workshop on October 7th and 8th, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. More

Michele Proctor along with project partner Mary Hildebrand of East Carolina Occupational Therapy presented an introductory continuing education session on AgrAbility and issues related to serving farmers with disabilities to 19 rehabilitation professionals at the Vidant Medical Center Rehabilitation Medicine on October 16, 2014. More

Michele ProctorNC AgrAbility was once again part of the NC Rehabilitation Association/NC Assistive Technology Program G.R.E.A.T. Conference. More

NC AgrAbility booth at NC State FairWrapping up October, NC AgrAbility had another great showing at the 2014 NC State Fair. More


Nebraska AgrAbility staff attended the AgrAbility Regional Workshop in Ft. Collins, CO. More

"Preventing Back Pain and Back Injury" was the focus of the AgrAbility health fair display and presentation in Franklin NE. More

With prevention as the focus, Sharry Nielsen presented safety around chemicals and ATV safety at two health fairs in October. More

Rod Peterson, rural rehab specialist, attended the vocational rehabilitation annual convention in Kearney, where he hosted a "lunch and learn" table. More

Lance Schwartz interviewing NE AgrA client Clayton HergottOn October 27th, Lance's Journal featured Nebraska AgrAbility client Clayton Hergott from Hebron, NE. More


Ohio AgrAbility (OAP) staff conducted two farm visits for the fall semester University of Dayton EGR 103 class. More

Ohio AgrAbility Staff met with the Knox County Center for Rehabilitation & Wellness where they shared the OAP message with 26 professional rehabilitation specialists that included OTs, PTs, massage therapists, nurses, and administration personnel.


Vermont AgrA client feeding goatsVermont AgrAbility Project Helps Westfield Farmer Keep Farming More


Virginia is delighted to continue its AgrAbility Project by being one of the "new" projects approved for 2014-2018! More


Keith Posselt honored at Easter Seals WI dinnerPast Wisconsin AgrAbility client and Easter Seals volunteer Keith Posselt was honored this month at the Easter Seals Wisconsin recognition dinner as the 2013-2014 outstanding volunteer. More

WI Governor Scott Walker at ag-week kickoffAgrAbility staff attended an ag week kickoff/campaign event, where Governor Scott Walker made an appearance at a local farm to address the community of the importance of agriculture in Wisconsin.

West Virginia

West Virginia AgrAbility is gratified to receive funding for a new four-year cycle. More

WV AgrAbility personnel participated in a disability awareness forum held at Tamarack (near Beckley, WV) on Oct. 23, 2014. More

On Oct. 18, 2014, WV AgrAbility personnel participated in a workshop on the topic of "Miniature Horses as Service Animals" at Holly Gray Park in Sutton, WV. More

WV AgrAbility personnel provided an overview of WV AgrAbility (WVA) at the WVU Extension Service's Annual Meeting on Oct. 23, 2014. More

In responses to referrals through WV AgrAbility, technical assistance has been provided by WV AgrAbility personnel. More

In late November, a meeting is scheduled with WV AgrAbility personnel and various WV disability professionals, including the WV Fairshake Network, to discuss the WV state disability policy agenda for 2015. More


Wyoming AgrAbility, in collaboration with the National AgrAbility project and the Arthritis Foundation, presented an educational forum, "Living with Chronic Illness: More Life, Less Limits" on October 2, in Cody, Wyoming. More

Staff Changes


Please extend a special welcome to Dr. Kim Niewolny of Virginia Tech, who is the new program director! Kim also serves as the program director for the Beginning Farmer and Ranchers Project.

AgrAbility in the News

Click here for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Other News

Click here for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.

Upcoming Events

Click here for professional development events related to AgrAbility.

Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,