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December 2015


Serving veterans and their families was the focus of two trainings attended by Nebraska AgrAbility staff in November. Rod Peterson, ESN rural rehab specialist, and Angie Howell, ESN program director for AgrAbility, attended the "No Wrong Door" training. They heard from veterans and family members about their experiences which included dealing with PTSD and traumatic brain injury. They gained insight into resources and support available through VA and other organizations, and networked with a variety of associations attending.

Emily Freudenburg with AgrAbility personnel at FVC Stakeholder conferenceEmily Freudenburg, ESN rural rehabilitation specialist, attended the Farmer Veteran Coalition Stakeholder Conference in Sacramento, California, November 17-19th. She learned about programs that assist veterans in building strong farms and ranches, such as Farm to Fork, Homegrown by Heroes, Boots to Business program, Transition Assistance Programs, and Farm Bureau's Patriot Project. Networking was a big part of the conference as Emily met people from other projects and other organizations as well as seeing programs that have worked well elsewhere.

Nebraska's Ag-Ceptional Women's Conference was held November 20th in Norfolk, NE, with nearly 300 women attending despite a sudden northern Nebraska snowstorm! Emily Freudenburg and Sharry Nielsen, Nebraska Extension educator, staffed a booth promoting the Nebraska AgrAbility project with an educational focus on preventing hearing loss among farmers and ranchers. Ear plugs were given to all attendees as they learned more about the hazards of various machinery, tools, and animals on farms and ranches.

"Safety with hand tools" was the topic for a monthly news release and TV spot written and presented by Sharry Nielsen. While machinery, equipment, and animals are often thought of as the major hazards on farms and ranches, hand tools account for thousands of injuries every year. Sharry discussed using the right tools for the job, using ergonomic tools, and discarding worn out or broken hand tools to prevent injury.

Submitted by Sharry Nielsen