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March 2016

West Virginia

West Virginia AgrAbility was represented at the WV Farm Bureau Day at the Legislature. An informational display highlighting videos on various agricultural assistive technologies, as well as demonstrations of ergonomic gardening tools, were provided to attendees and legislators.

WV staff attended the Disability Advocacy Day at the Legislature. They were accompanied by five consumers that have been working on growing their own produce. They spoke to several legislators about the impact several pieces of proposed legislation will have on individuals with disabilities and the needed supports which allows individuals to live and work in the communities of their choice.

WV AgrAbility farm hazard display"Choose Your Own Adventure at WVU" was the theme for West Virginia University Day at the Legislature. Attendees could visit displays focusing on college majors, career paths and opportunities provided by WVU and the WVU Extension Service. West Virginia AgrAbility provided activities for individuals to identify farm safety hazards and equipment demonstrations to assist farmers. Activities continued with a "Camping at the Capitol" mini-Council Circle which featured the WVU Mountaineer, President Gee, and WVU Collegiate 4-Hers.

West Virginia AgrAbility was represented at the 12th Annual WV Small Farm Conference. The AgrAbility exhibit was well received and featured farm hazard identification and noise level education. Over 150 individuals took advantage of the free hearing protection and demonstrations on the proper method for applying foam ear plugs. FFA members from around the state learned how to use a decibel meter and tested the noise levels of a normal conversation and a busy exhibit hall. The conference also highlighted a winter blues farmers market and local dine-around.Maple cotton candy, hot dog chili sauce, and various locally grown meats, produce, creams, and lotions were available from local agriculture producers. WV AgrAbility booth at WV Small Farm ConferenceLocally sourced food was used to prepare all of the meals, which included locally grown and milled wheat, grass fed beef, potatoes, asparagus, and potato soup. Conference attendees participated in a popcorn tasting contest where seven different local varieties were featured.

Submitted by Tiffany Salamone