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May 2017


Gary holding goatAfter his stroke in October of 2008, Gary Glownia was not expected to ever walk, talk, use his right arm, or swallow and eat without a feeding tube. His wife, Gayle, was encouraged to place him in a nursing home, but with typical farm-wife feistiness, she insisted that her husband be reevaluated and placed into physical therapy. Gayle's persistence won and Gary eventually returned home. But there was more bad news! In 2010, Gary had another stroke and a serious seizure in 2011. Despite the setbacks, he has persisted in following the dream and has returned to tending the livestock on their rural estate with the help of family and Michigan AgrAbility. You can read Gary's story here.

Shannon KortmanShannon Kortman is dependent upon a wheelchair due to spina bifida caused by maternal drug abuse while in utero. This caused paralysis from the waist down, but that has not stopped Shannon! He believes that he can do anything anyone else can do, thanks to God's blessings. In addition to using the indoor/outdoor chair at his job as an elementary school playground supervisor, Shannon also plans to work on a local farm, helping his friends at Michigan AgrAbility. The turkeys he loves to hunt may not be so glad he has a powered wheelchair though! Michigan AgrAbility has posted on their Facebook page the link that can be used to help support Shannon in raising money for his Frontier V6 wheelchair. You can learn more about Shannon on the MI AgrAbility webpage and, if you would like to contribute towards the purchase of the wheelchair, you can access the YouCaring crowdfunding page here.

The Michigan Safety Conference was held in Novi, MI, in April at the Suburban Collection Showplace. The conference had many industry safety education tracks. Training is targeted at workplace health and safety issues. New within the last 5 years of this 87-year-old two-day event is an agriculture industry track. Michigan AgrAbility staff spoke extensively about Michigan AgrAbility, how the program assists farmers with a disability to continue to farm, and how AgrAbility helps farmers avoid secondary injury in the workplace they love.

Submitted by Deb Chester