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December 2015


AgrAbility staff will host a booth during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market EXPO and the Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO December 8-10. The event is held at the Devos Place Conference Center and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Michigan AgrAbility will be demonstrating a power lift and all-terrain wheelchair in the Life Essentials display area in the exhibition hall.

Michigan State mechanical engineering students are helping AgrAbility through a capstone project. MSU student engineers are required to complete a capstone project before leaving the world of academia and heading into the real work world. The project is a culmination of the education, skills, and creativity acquired during their student years, bringing a solution to a real world problem.

One group project took on the everyday mobility issues of Michigan AgrAbility client and Clinton County farmer, Dan Acre. The team is working to design a folding step that can be raised and lowered while seated in the tractor cab. Once designed and prototyped, the finished step could become an after-market installation that could help other farmers like Dan.

Funding for projects is typically provided by industrial sponsors. This project is hoping to build funds for the project through a group funding effort. An anonymous donor has agreed to match up to $1500 raised for future projects that will help Michigan farmers. Can you help keep projects like these a priority for MSU engineering students? Donate online at
Gifts may also be mailed to: University Advancement Spartan Way, 535 Chestnut Road, Rm. 300, East Lansing, MI 48824. Make check payable to Michigan State University and write "Appeal 16CRFPR1TRACTOR" in the note section.

Submitted by Deb Chester