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May 2016

National AgrAbility Project News

National AgrAbility Mobile Optimized Site Goes Live. In order to stay on the cutting edge of web technology, the National AgrAbility Project has converted over from the former desktop-only web content to a new mobile-optimized website. More

AgrAbility All-Staff Meeting: Tuesday, May 17 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Check your email for details.

AgrAbility 25th Anniversary logoJoin the AgrAbility 25th Anniversary Celebration, July 12 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA! More

Educational Stipends Available for RESNA Fundamentals Course and Conference. Are you an AgrAbility team member seeking the ATP (Assistive Technology Professional) certification?  Would you like to attend the RESNA Conference in July? More

AgrAbility Webinar: Arthritis and Nutrition: Tips on Eating Well and Feeling Better. Thursday, May 26, 3:00 p.m. EDT. More

Amberley SnyderChuck Baldwin, NAP special populations outreach coordinator, attended the National Training Workshop in Colorado and especially enjoyed making new acquaintances, renewing old ones, and videoing the keynote speakers and other events/attendees. 30 people representing 12 different 1890 land grant universities' staff, clients, stakeholders, and partners attended. This was a new record for 1890 involvement in the NTW. More

1890s Panel at 2016 NTWChuck had the honor of being the moderator for the Wednesday afternoon NTW session "Working With Your 1890 Institution". The major contribution was given by a panel of five 1890 staff members...More

Chuck wants to thank all of people who volunteered to share their story on video for the "What AgrAbility Means To Me" segment of the NAP website.

Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility project coordinator for nationally funded AgrAbility partner, the Arthritis Foundation Heartland Region, presented a poster at the American Occupational Therapy Association's annual conference in Chicago, IL, on April 9th. More

Slide-lid storage shedToolbox Spotlight: It's lawn and garden time, and some of your customers might benefit from a Slide-Lid Storage Shed. It's big enough to hold a bike, mower, garden tools, hose, folding chairs, trash can, etc. Twin front doors plus a roof that slides back on rollers provide access to what's stored inside.

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

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


Redefining possibleCalAgrAbility and Ability Tools staff attended the NTW. All of the workshops provided useful tools and tips. Both keynote speakers were inspiring. More

CalAgrAbility staffed a booth at the Sacramento County Farm Bureau Annual Health and Safety Fair. More

CalAgrAbility booth at Picnic Day at UC DavisProfessor Fathallah's Ergo Lab and CalAgrAbility held a booth at the 102nd Annual Picnic Day at UC Davis. More

Staff collaborated with DPR and MAR, a student volunteer group at UC Davis, to bring information about arthritis to residents of the Dixon Migrant Center. More

CalAgrAbility was interviewed for a Spanish PSA to be published in May for Arthritis Awareness Month.

CalAgrAbility conducted outreach during opening day at two migrant centers. More

Staff attended the Western Center for Agricultural Health seminar, "Economics of Healthier Farm Employees." More

CalAgrAbility continues to be active on Twitter @CalAgrAbility.


The Colorado AgrAbility Project just finished hosting the National Training Workshop in Fort Collins, CO. If you missed it, you will never know how much fun and educational it was. Many said it was the best ever!

The Colorado AgrAbility Project was honored to do training for all of the state of Colorado's county veteran service officers (VSOs). More

CO AgrAbility was once again invited to attend the Colorado National Guard Association annual conference. Staff manned a table at the three day event and also presented on AgrAbility to the entire body.


GA AgrAbility Group AWT training The project trained 22 staff with Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation through a two-day workshop in April. In addition to classroom learning, the workshop featured an AT expo, in which numerous vendors participated. More

Raised bed preparationStaff have been busy developing a business plan and starting implementation of a small scale farm (Green Planet Vets) for a local veteran. More

Staff are working with new clients to set up a home aquaponics system they can learn on, with the plans to expand into a commercial operation within two years. More

Paige Tidwell, AgrAbility staff member, is working with rehabilitation counseling graduate students from Fort Valley State University (1890) to provide them with direct experiences with our farmers...MoreGA AgrAbility staff at 2016 NTW

Staff enjoyed spending time with everyone at the National AgrAbility conference this year. It was an excellent learning experience and they brought back a lot of new ideas.


Indiana AgrAbility Rural Rehabilitation Specialist Steve Swain presented "Gardening for People with Disabilities or Those Who are Getting Older" to an audience at the Tippecanoe Public Library in Lafayette, Indiana. More

Veteran farm tour - showing goatsAs part of the Purdue Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program, Indiana AgrAbility staff hosted a veteran farm tour at Freebird Farm & Homestead in Walton, IN, on May 1st. More

Linda Tarr attended the National Training Workshop and served on the planning committee.

Linda did an in-service for therapy students at the Community Rehab Hospital in Indianapolis and did a program for the Purdue Military Family Research Institute's Southern Indiana Military Support Network meeting in New Albany.

Amber Wolfe presented an hour-long session on arthritis to the Zionsville Garden Club on April 5th. There were 42 people in attendance.

A small ad was published in the program for the Hoosier Horse Fair event, Indianapolis, April 1-3, that promoted the healthy benefits of horseback riding, and raised awareness of the stress it can cause to joints of riders. An ad was also created for the Fort Wayne newspapers for their "Farm Life" edition.


Back row—Cindy Jacobelli, Linda Bokros, Kevin Horn, Front Row – Heidi McKenzieKY AgrAbility was in Colorado for the NTW. They had a great time and learned so much. Staff got out just in time on Friday before the big snow hit. There were six persons representing Kentucky AgrAbility. More

Staff are getting everything ready for the next veteran workshop to be held at St. Catherine College in Springfield, KY, on May 21. More

The 13th Annual Summer Institute in Assistive Technology is to be held at the KY State University Research Farm south of Frankfort, KY, on June 14 and 15. More

The annual conference of the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (ISASH) is coming to Lexington, KY, this year June 26-30. KY AgrAbility will have a poster session on modified equipment and assistive technology.

As always, KY AgrAbility looks forward to participating each month at the KSU Third Thursday Thing. More


Maine AgrAbility Project Coordinator Lani Carlson spoke with Derek Volk about Maine AgrAbility for his weekly radio show, The Derek Volk Show. More

ME AgrAbility team at 2016 NTWThe Maine AgrAbility team was excited and proud to be part of the 2016 NTW - all twelve of them! More

4th graders at Progressive Ag Safety DayLani Carlson participated in Cherryfield Foods Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on April 6. AgrAbility helped to present a PTO safety demonstration for 69 very excited 4th graders (woo!).

Ellen Gibson, Maine AgrAbility specialist with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, conducted a demonstration workshop on assistive technology for gardeners during the Bangor Flower Show on April 15. More

April 25, Lani Carlson gave a presentation about AgrAbility to shellfish and seaweed producers. The talk focused on fishing, where, as with any type of farming, paying attention to the wear and tear on the body is important.

On May 30, Lani exhibited at the 2016 Spring Maine Occupational Therapists Association Conference. There were 140 professional and OT students at the day-long event, sharing an interest in AgrAbility's resources and networks.


Beef fund-raiserThank you, Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, for all the time, hard work, and effort put into making a hugely successful fund-raiser for Michigan AgrAbility! More

Jose Garza with prunerMeet Jose Garza! Jose has trigger finger in his right hand, making it impossible to prune orchard trees. Michigan AgrAbility, working with Jose, his wife, and his employer, identified assistive technology to enable Jose to keep working all year. More


The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) Survivor and Family Seminars featured AgrAbility at its exhibit booth and during the Getting Ready for Work: Employment Options sessions. More

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, a Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP) collaborator, provided one Pharm to Farm on-site farmstead medication assessment where student pharmacist Jessica Crane and Kelly Cochran, PharmD, BCPS, provided free wellness screenings at a value of over $75 for a farm family, and equipped them with wellness information to improve overall health. More

Following the farmstead visit (mentioned above), the Pharm to Farm team traveled to meet with the client's community pharmacist to promote and discuss the assistance available to farmers/rancher through Missouri AgrAbility Project. More

Kelly Cochran incorporated education about the culture of agriculture, farm values, effective communication techniques with farmers/ranchers, and the resources of Missouri AgrAbility Project, into a recent "Special Populations" lecture...More

North Carolina

North Carolina AgrAbility at 2016 NTWNorth Carolina AgrAbility Partnership was well-represented at the 2016 AgrAbility National Training Workshop with eight North Carolinians attending. More

Salisbury veterans greenhouseNorth Carolina AgrAbility Partnership visited the veterans medical facility at Salisbury, North Carolina. The Salisbury Veterans Administration contacted Tammy Koger to see if the NC AgrAbility and NC A&T State University could provide leadership to get their greenhouse "up and running." More


Sharry Nielsen from NE AgrAbility and Ellen Duysen from Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CH-CASH) collaborated to present a session on women's health and safety at Women in Ag - Sidney in April. More

Twenty occupational and physical therapists attended a day-long workshop in North Platte, Nebraska, put on by Nebraska AgrAbility. More


OSU design teamThe Ohio AgrAbility program has had a great year working with engineering students at University of Dayton and The Ohio State University. The 49 freshman and sophomores attending the University of Dayton worked on 11 different projects over the past two semesters. MoreOSU client

A group of five students at OSU worked together on a year-long senior engineering capstone project to provide an AgrAbility client with an accessibility solution for his lawn mower. More


On April 6, AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians participated in the York Veterans' Expo held at York Expo Center. More

Neither rain nor snow, especially snow, shall keep AgrAbility from an event! Even though it snowed on April 9, the Lebanon Farm Safety Day went on as planned, and AgrAbility's Jackie Wardle was there. More

Abbie Spackman in tractor cabJaneen Latin,2016 NTW AT session UCP Central PA; Dwight Heller, occupational therapist; and Abbie Spackman, AgrAbility project assistant, represented AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians at the 2016 AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado. The conference was a great experience and the networking was extremely helpful!

AgrAbility PA is on Instagram and hopes you will join them! Sharing pictures and videos is a great way to show off assistive technology, beautiful farm land, AgrAbility events and more.


TN farmer veteran workshopTennessee AgrAbility (TNAP) networked with Charley Jordan, TN Homegrown by Heroes farmer, to host the first farmer veteran workshop in Clarksville, TN, on April 2nd. More

THANK YOU NAP for organizing another great conference and speakers! Six staff represented all TNAP partners, networked, and learned at the informative NTW in CO. More

TNAP is part of a recently initiated multi-organizational statewide TN Agricultural Safety and Health Partnership that is working on developing more farm safety awareness programs and safety days for Tennessee.

The Tennessee New Farmer Academy started another class in April. The class was limited to 20 students. Registration exceeded that number with 40 students.

Tennessee staff presented with East TN Technology Center about rehabilitation technology services and AgrAbility to new VR eastern region staff and received four new referrals. The staff also exhibited at the Southeast Tennessee Beef Summit in Athens and heard Corbitt Wall speak.

Paula Jones, coordinator of rehabilitation technology services with East Tennessee Technology Access Center (ETTAC), attended the 2016 NTW (first-timer). She went back to ETTAC and presented on the conference. More

Tennessee staff has begun the groundwork for the Milan No Till Field Day in July. More


AgrAbility of Utah sponsored booths at the Utah/Arizona Range Livestock Workshops April 5 in Orderville, UT, and April 6 in Hurricane, UT. More

Farm makeoverMembers of the Utah State University Collegiate FFA and the Beaver River FFA chapter joined forces April 16 to complete a farm makeover for an AgrAbility of Utah client. More

During the state FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) on April 26 in Logan, staff from AgrAbility of Utah and the Utah Assistive Technology Program provided information and examples of how common farm technologies can help reduce long-term wear and tear on the body. More


AgrAbility Virginia is delighted to be working with the National AgrAbility Project and Virginia State University as they host an AgrAbility workshop for 1890 universities that are within driving distance of Petersburg, VA. The workshop will be August 17-18, 2016. More

VermontVT's Jon Turner and Lanon Baccam, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Ag Services and Military Veterans Ag Liaison at NTW

Vermont continues to promote the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Most recently, at the National Training Workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado, Jon Turner and Tom Younkman both made presentations about the FVC. More


AgrAbility of Wisconsin has participated in a variety of events this month. Staff held a booth at a local horse sale, which helped foster connections with Amish and Mennonite community members and inform others in the equine industry of the possibilities for farmers with disabilities and limitations.

Richard Straub, director, presented to students interested in rural health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The students were very interested in the opportunities that Straub gave as examples and enjoyed learning more about possible relationships they may have if they have a career in rural health.

Co-director Brian Luck presented information at the National Training Workshop in Colorado on the possibilities of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and covered common questions farmers and users may have.

West Virginia

WV AgrAbility at 2016 NTWWV AgrAbility was well-represented at the 2016 AgrAbility National Training Workshop. More

WV AgrAbility staff Carmen Fullmer and Inetta Fluharty co-presented a session on April 13th at the AgrAbility National Training Workshop on "Caring for the Caregiver". More

WV Beef ExpoWV AgrAbility staff attended the 2016 WV Beef Expo and Stockman's Contest April 7-9. More

WV AgrAbility at WV Urban Ag ConferenceThe third annual WV Urban Ag Conference was held on the campus of West Virginia State University on April 30, 2016. More

West Virginia AgrAbility continues to provide information and resources to farmers requesting assistance. More

Check out the West Virginia AgrAbility Facebook page.

Staff Changes


Ohio says goodbye and best wishes to Andy Bauer. Andy served as the Education Coordinator for the past two years, and we wish him well in his life after Ohio AgrAbility.


Rachel GerbitzWelcome to our new summer intern, Rachel Gerbitz! Rachel is from Milton and is studying dairy science and life sciences communication at UW-Madison. On campus she is involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club, and Collegiate Farm Bureau. She is also a member of the La Prairie 4-H Club, Rock County Junior Holsteins, and the Wisconsin Jersey Breeders Association. Rachel is excited about the work AgrAbility does and the opportunity to work with everyone involved. She is also interested in the communications field and is looking forward to improving those skills through this position. Welcome, Rachel!

AgrAbility in the News

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Other News

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Upcoming Events

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Problems? Contact Clifford Racz, National AgrAbility Project,