Registration is now open for the for the 2015 Arthritis, AgrAbility, and Rural Health Conference on August 24-27 in Knoxville, Tennessee. This 2nd national arthritis and agriculture conference is being planned in partnership with a regional AgrAbility training presented by Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. This combined conference will hopefully draw in more attendees and will be a dynamic event. Sponsorships are needed, and vendors are welcome! The conference will be held at the Downtown Hilton Knoxville. Proposals for speaking presentations are currently being accepted. All files related to the conference will be posted at http://arthritis-ag.org/national-conference/.
Click here to register. The hotel block is already open and you can click here for your reservations. Contact Amber Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org or JoBeth Rath at email@example.com for more information.
Submitted by Amber Wolfe
Cindy Chastain, veterans outreach coordinator for the NAP, visited the Veterans Farm in Jacksonville, FL, May 14-15. The workshop on the 15th, the New Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Workshop, was attended by over 100 veterans and family members from several states. Cindy did a presentation on AgrAbility along with other speakers offering resource information to veteran farmers. After the workshop, she was invited to visit several Jacksonville area farms.
The NAP sponsored an exciting AgrAbility workshop for the 1890 land grant institutions, hosted by the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB), May 18-19. Bill Field, NAP Director, and Chuck Baldwin, NAP special populations outreach coordinator, represented AgrAbility and helped with the planning and teaching of the event. 38 people attended including representatives from six different 1890s: Tuskegee (AL), U. of AR-Pine Bluff (AR), Southern U. (LA), Lincoln U. (MO), Alcorn State (MS), and Prairie View A&M (TX).
UAPB played a major role in the planning of the workshop, putting five of their staff on the planning committee and making more than 80 contacts by email and phone to encourage the 1890s from surrounding states to attend. The welcome from Dr. English and other UAPB personnel toward the rest of the attendees was warm with southern hospitality, and the UAPB catering service did a superb job of providing delicious meals and snacks.
Attendees received an introduction to AgrAbility and the NAP website from Bill and Chuck, plus teaching on conducting a farm assessment from Brad Marsh of LA, vocational rehabilitation services by Nathan Winter of AR Rehabilitation Services, and preventing secondary injuries with Bill Field. Bill Begley of Life Essentials presented a session on assistive technology, and then gave hands-on demonstrations of a truck lift, tractor lift, Trackchair, and Journeyman Scooter. 1890s personnel enjoyed trying all of these things out and asked many pertinent questions. A lot of educational fun for all! (Did you hear about the speeding arrest of the farmer in the Trackchair?)
One of the highlights of the workshop was the farmer panel, composed of three AR farmers representing disabilities of blindness, paraplegia, and loss of both arms. Their sharing was appreciated by many participants, writing such adjectives in their evaluations as "excellent", "phenomenal", and "inspiring!"
Perhaps the comment heard most often was how much people appreciated the personal stories from the workshop teachers and farmer panel of how they met the challenges of working with farmers with disabilities. These stories seemed to go a long ways toward enabling the participants to believe that they, too, could help ag workers with disabilities among their constituencies.
For another attendee's view of the workshop, please see Phillip Boydston's article on the MO page of this e-Note.
Submitted by Chuck Baldwin