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September 2016

West Virginia

The West Virginia State Fair, August 14-22, 2016, is steeped in history and tradition. The Declaration of Independence was only 78 years old when the first recorded fair was conducted in the Greenbrier Valley. The Greenbrier Agricultural Society began organizing and conducting an annual fair where agricultural accomplishments could be displayed. This popular event attracted entries of livestock, produce, and household items from farms throughout the area. One such entry included an iron-gray yearling colt that took home the blue ribbon. That colt would later gain fame as Robert E. Lee's warhorse, Traveller. Once West Virginia became a state, the tradition of the agricultural fair in the Greenbrier Valley continued. From those early fairs to the present-day fair, the West Virginia State Fair has been committed to agriculture and family values.

West Virginia State University was represented at the 1890 AgrAbility Workshop in Petersburg, Virginia. This training provided an opportunity to network with other 1890 institutions and share ideas on programming. Sessions included an AgrAbility overview, assistive technology provided through Life Essentials, a session on assessments and secondary injury, a farmer panel from Virginia highlighting their operations and assistance received, and an overview of how Vocational Rehabilitation works with AgrAbility in Virginia.

West Virginia AgrAbility continues to provide information and resources to farmers requesting assistance. During the month of August, staff conducted one farm site assessment and is working with West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services on securing funding for the needed agricultural modifications. Additional advocacy was provided to a farmer in securing the needed funding for farm site modifications from the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation.

Submitted by Tiffany Salamone