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July 2017

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility Partnership (NCAP) participated in the Small Farm Field Day, hosted by North Carolina A&T State University Cooperative Extension Program at A&T's University Farm, on June 15. NCAP was among 11 poster presenters with a poster titled "Preventing injuries and staying productive after sustaining a disability." NCAP also had a display of modified equipment and ergonomic tools. The event included demonstrations on insect screening and high tunnel organics, small scale organic pecan production, the basics of artificial insemination of beef cattle, high tunnel ginger production, converting agriculture and food waste into energy, and pasture pork production and management. Other posters and displays provided information about industrial hemp production in NC, improving broiler growth, food safety and healthy food, pollinator protection, nutrition, and how to improve long term profits. Local farmers and eager students were scattered among the crowd, engaging with Cooperative Extension representatives as they demonstrated the latest agricultural technologies and techniques. The event attracted around 250 participants including several that wanted to be included in NCAP's mailing list and a couple who showed interest in receiving direct services from the program.

Beatriz (Betty) Rodriguez and NCAP at the Veterans Services eventDurham County Veterans Services hosted an informational event at the Durham County office on June 16 and 17, 2017. Veterans Benefits and Health administrators, Vet Center, and veterans service organizations' representatives assisted veterans with face-to-face explanation and assistance facilitating and expediting existing claims and appeals, filing new claims, providing information regarding benefit-related VA bereavement and military sexual trauma counseling, substance abuse, and mental health screening. NCAP and NC Agromedicine staffed a booth where many veterans could learn about the AgrAbility program and get the health screening done. The veterans also had the opportunity to try some of the ergonomic tools and assistive technology available and to learn how they can work with the body to take bending and squeezing out of the farming and gardening work.

NCAP's Betty Rodriguez & John at NC Minority Farmers and Landowners ConferenceNCAP was also present at the 13th Annual N.C. Minority Farmers and Landowners Conference at the North Carolina Central University Campus, Durham, NC, June 20-22, 2017. The NCAP booth was visited by the majority of the farmers, who had opportunity to learn about the program and benefit from learning about ergonomic tools, assistive technology, and how to prevent injuries while farming and gardening. The event provided information about profitable crops in the region, protecting the farm, land loss prevention, food safety, how to handle challenging risk through crop insurance, farm safety, managing cover crops, NRCS soil health and sustainability, marketing, and more. Around 250 participants attended the conference.

Submitted by Beatriz (Betty) Rodriguez