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August 2017

West Virginia

A brief overview of WV AgrAbility, ergonomic tools, and body mechanics, was presented to Grant County Farm Bureau by Inetta Fluharty. The presentation highlighted how to "work smarter - not harder" using leverage of the tool, adapted handles, various assistive technology and proper body mechanics. Attendees learned about the impacts of secondary injury and other chronic health issues with respect to productivity and quality of life. Videos were used to demonstrate the use of assistive technology in decreasing secondary injuries and allowing the farmer to regain ability or continue in a chosen agricultural production.

West Virginia State University AgrAbility Extension Agent Inetta Fluharty provided disability awareness and farm culture training to the statewide institute on children's safety. Disability is the fastest growing minority worldwide. Many West Virginia farm families living with disabilities are chastised for choosing to remain in agricultural production by the social service workers who are called on for assistance. Fifty-four service providers were given information on farm culture and disability issues, assisting to answer questions as to why a person with a disability would still choose to farm. Various assistive technologies were demonstrated which allow many farmers with disabilities to continue in their agri-business.

West Virginia AgrAbility continues to provide information and resources to farmers requesting assistance. During the month of July, West Virginia AgrAbility staff provided ongoing advocacy to farmers seeking needed assistive technology and agricultural modifications. AgrAbility staff assisted with the grievance procedure on behalf of the farmers.

Submitted by Inetta Fluharty