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August 2017

National AgrAbility Project News

The Annual Staff Needs Assessment (ASNA) will be released soon via web survey. This is the SRAPs' main opportunity to provide feedback to the NAP on past efforts and future initiatives. All staff members are asked to respond.

Please respond to the short NAP web survey on services to migrant/seasonal farmworkers by August 16. Even if your SRAP is not currently working with this population, please have one person complete this survey for each SRAP, as the NAP is also interested in barriers to providing services. Click here to access the survey.

Cover image of Arthritis and GardeningThe NAP received two Blue Ribbon Awards for Educational Aids at the recent ASABE Annual International Meeting in Spokane, Washington. Winning were the website and the Arthritis and Gardening booklet.

The August 9 all-staff meeting was recorded and has now been archived at

The NAP was pleased to collaborate with Kentucky AgrAbility to staff a display at the Amputee Coalition 2017 National Conference in Louisville. Special thanks to Linda Tarr and Linda Bokros for their efforts. Person in wheelchair using fit grips on hand rims

Toolbox Spotlight: Fit-Grips for Wheelchair Hand Rims are designed to reduce stress on hands, wrists, and forearms by providing a cushioned, smooth surface for pushing and by increasing the rim's surface circumference for more efficiency and power. The grips reportedly stretch to securely fit on any 24- to 26-inch rims.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


Collaborative RISE meetingCalAgrAbility staff attended the monthly RISE collaborative meeting in Esparto, CA. Agencies that attended were Yolo County Library, Department of Rehabilitation, National Association of Community Health Centers, and many more. More

Sara and Kevin at Veteran Farmers OutreachCalAgrAbility staff reached out at the Veteran Farmers Outreach Day to veterans in the Elk Grove area that are or were thinking about becoming farmers. More

Migrant centers outreachStaff sent outreach packets to CEOs of partner clinics and other partner medical centers throughout California.

CalAgrAbility joined Migrant Education Region 2 to do outreach at various migrant centers. Workers stay at these centers for about three weeks while they harvest pear orchards. More


Candy from the Colorado AgrAbility Project staff had an opportunity to meet with about 20 Colorado state vocational rehabilitation counselors. More


IL AgrAbility staff are serving on the newly developed Illinois Farmers Veteran Association Advisory Council. Jim Williams at Voc. Ag. Teachers Conference

On June 20, Jim Williams, the southern Illinois field coordinator, enjoyed networking with high school agricultural teachers at the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers Conference.


Accessible gardensINDATA surprised Steve Swain, the rural rehabilitation specialist for Indiana AgrAbility, with the AT Champion Award for his nearly 20 years of service in the assistive technology community. More

County fairs have kept Linda Tarr busy this month in southern Indiana, and she is now helping with the state fair.

Stephen Etheridge, IN AgrAbility/NAP consultant, staffed an AgrAbility booth at the Old Fashion Farming Day in Shipshewana, IN, July 29. The event attracted an estimated 300 people, many of them Amish or Old Order Mennonite. More


Accessible gardensKentucky AgrAbility has been busy this summer. The 20th Anniversary of the KY State University's 3rd Thursday Event on July 20th hosted about 1,200 people. More

Two of the KY AgrAbility staff attended the Driver Rehab Engineer Conference, ADED, held in Albuquerque, NM, where they talked about hand controls and other assistive technology for agricultural vehicles.

Mike Lewis traveled with the KY Dept. of Agriculture safety team to Paducah. More

Harvesting began at the Easter Seals accessible gardens at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation in Lexington. The children have done an amazing job and are educating others in their family about the nutritional value and health benefits of growing their own food. More

August is the time for the state fair and county field days. The state fair, held in Louisville, begins on August 17th and continues until the 27th. It will be a long event and KY AgrAbility will share the time with the KY Dept. of Ag safety team.

KY AgrAbility help the NAP with the exhibit booth for the 2017 Amputee Coalition conference in Louisville on August 3-5.

Several meetings are scheduled with county agents and a webinar for them will be presented in August. More

Next on the agenda will be the KY Rehabilitation Association Annual Conference in Owensboro on September 13th and 14th and an educational session with the Owensboro Rehabilitation staff while in Owensboro.

The ability to work with the farmers needing AgrAbility's help is always the primary concern and as staff educate county extension personnel and other community leaders, KY AgrAbility has been able to help those farmers in Kentucky that are experiencing difficulties in working on the farm. Be safe.


Summer in Maine can seem like a short season. Time passes quickly when the weather is fine. Maine AgrAbility staff members have used this growing season to connect with hundreds of farmers, military veterans, several potential clients, partners, and others.

Lobster boat off Maine shoreRecently, Project Director Richard Brzozowski interacted with a physician's assistant whose family members are lobsterman to explore effective ways to reach fishermen in the downeast region of Maine. More

This summer, Project Coordinator Lani Carlson and Richard Brzozowski have been working on a publication that outlines how growing specific crops in high tunnels might be a suitable enterprise for people with limitations.

Independent Living Specialist Wanda Caron of Alpha-One staffed an informational display at the annual Wild Blueberry Field Day held in Jonesboro, Maine, on July 19. More

AgrAbility Specialist Ellen Gibson of Goodwill Industries-Northern New England staffed an informational display for veterans at the Maine Military Community Network in Augusta, Maine, on July 20. More

Project Coordinator Lani Carlson staffed an AgrAbility educational display at a field day held in late July at one of Maine's agricultural & forestry experiment stations known as Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, Maine. More

What a network! While attending a farm tour as a part of the 2017 Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) in Salt Lake City in early July, Richard Brzozowski was able to connect a Utah farmer with Anne Brown-Reither of AgrAbility of Utah.

Maine AgrAbility staff members are excited about hosting the 2018 NTW in Portland, Maine, next March 19-22. Over the past month, they have been interacting with clients and exploring host farms and sites as possible tour stops.


Losing a leg does not stop a determined Michigan sheep farmer! More

July was the month for getting the word out to the agricultural community about one of MI AgrAbility's partners: Michigan Rehabilitative Services. More


The Minnesota AgrAbility Project had a busy week at the 2017 Minnesota Farmfest in Redwood Falls, MN, Aug. 1-3. MoreDavid Glamm - MN dairy farmer

The staff is gearing up to participate in National Farm Safety activities next month.

On Tuesday, August 1, MN AgrAbility mentor David Glamm participated in a safety panel discussion. More


Karen Funkenbusch was an author on an article recently published in the Journal of Agromedicine titled, "Keep me doing what I love": A photovoice evaluation of the Missouri AgrAbility Project.": More

During July 2017, Maureen Cunningham, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, informed attendees at the Brain Injury Association of Missouri support group in Fenton about the Missouri AgrAbility Project. More

Kelly Cochran, PharmD, BCPS, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, a Missouri AgrAbility collaborator, recently completed the University of Iowa Agricultural Health and Safety: The Core Course and became AgriSafe certified.

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy included two student pharmacists in AgrAbility client outreach activities throughout July. Doctoral pharmacy students Tylar Pollard and Victoria Floyd, along with preceptor Kelly Cochran, provided three Pharm to Farm on-site farmstead medication assessments. More

Pharm to Farm and AgrAbility flyers were shared with patrons of the Audrain County 4-H Fair in Mexico, Missouri, Tylar Pollard and Victoria Floydthe farm manager at Drumm Farm Foster Care Community in Independence, Missouri, and were posted in a local business in rural Linn, Missouri.

Tylar and Victoria, pictured here, share their background and why becoming pharmacists in rural communities is important to them: More

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility at Piedmont Green Industry ConferenceThe NCAP had the opportunity to participate as an exhibitor at the Piedmont Green Industry Conference, held on July 20, 2017, at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro, NC. MoreNC AgrAbility health screen testing at Animal Waste Operator workshop

NC AgrAbility and NC Agromedicine staffed a booth and presented at the Swine Animal Waste Operator Workshop offered at the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Office on July 26, 2017. More


Emily presented at the AgriMed Course, held at CS-CASH at UNMC. This course is to educate on the challenges that farmers/ranchers see and how this can affect their health. More

Easterseals Nebraska had a team meeting to begin going over NE AgrAbility's portion of the grant information so that they can be prepared.

A Nebraska AgrAbility team meeting was held.

Dwaine Koenig and Silencer cattle working chuteSusan Harris-Broomfield and Emily having been sitting in on the NTW planning calls.

Rod Peterson shares a story about a client that owns a 260-head cow/calf heard near Ewing, Nebraska, and the new Silencer working chute AgrAbility helped him get. More


It's gardening season, and Ohio AgrAbility has been talking to clients, farmers, and community members about gardening with arthritis and other limitations.

FlowersOhio AgrAbility staff attended the Amish Family Farm Field Day in Wilton, Ohio, and talked to attendees about container gardening, using ergonomic tools, and adapting their gardens to fit their changing abilities. More

Gardening will also be a priority topic at the upcoming Farm Science Review, September 19 - 21, in London, Ohio. OAP staff will give talks about gardening with arthritis at the Small Farm Center and at the Utzinger Memorial Garden. More

OAP Disability Services Coordinator Laura Akgerman participated in a celebration for the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in downtown Columbus. More

PennsylvaniaAgrAbility for Pennsylvanians farmer client

AgrAbility PA had the opportunity to post to the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation's (PATF) Instagram for a week! During that week, staff posted pictures and stories of AgrAbility clients to teach PATF followers about AgrAbility. More


Extension hosted the last in a series of six statewide workshops "Considerations for Beginning Farmers" in July that introduced farmers to available TN and USDA resources. More

Veterans Experiencing Growth through Garden Interactive Experiences (VEGGIE) focus groups started at UT Gardens. It is a focus group to help review the VEGGIE pilot program. A promising new area in the treatment of veterans is horticultural therapy. More

HorseTNAP exhibited at the TN Small Farm Expo. There was great networking and representing of AgrAbility and Farmer Veteran Coalition/Homegrown by Heroes. More

TLC Therapeutic Riding Center, located in West TN, came in first place to win the horse "Lexlin Vanquish" of the Gypsy Vanner breed from Lexlin Gypsy Ranch in Rockwood, TN. More


Texas AgrAbility will host an ag workshop and farm tour on August 4th and 5th. More

Composting Field Days signThe Battleground to Breaking Ground Project will also host two composting field days on August 11 and 12 at the Texas Worm Ranch in Dallas. More

7D RanchStaff members Erin Kimbrough and Makenzie McLaurin toured the 7-D Ranch in Navasota, Texas. The 7-D Ranch is a wildlife and cattle operation that has recently added agri-tourism to their portfolio. More

Erin Kimbrough at Earth DayErin Kimbrough, program coordinator, was featured on the Earth Day Texas highlights video, sharing about the Texas AgrAbility Project. Earth Day Texas is the single largest Earth Day gathering in the world. More


AgrAbility of Utah at NACAA 1The 102nd annual meeting of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) was held in Salt Lake City July 9-13. More

In July, AgrAbility of Utah staff continued providing educational presentations to Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) districts with a presentation at the Central District VR office in Payson on July 26. More

AgrAbility of Utah staff conducted outreach at the Summer Meeting of the Utah Wool Growers July 31 in Park City. More


Dr. Kim Niewolny and group from VA chapter of FVCJuly 24, 2017, on Randolph Farm at Virginia State University (1890), Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe officially announced the formation of the Virginia Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) and the Homegrown By Heroes designation for chapter members. More

The AgrAbility Virginia team has partnered with the departments of mechanical engineering and industrial and systems engineering at Virginia Tech on a newly awarded, three-year, $999,277 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant titled, "Affordable Flexible Robotic Technology to Enhance Work Performance of Farmers with Mobility Restrictions." More


Tractor rolloverVermont AgrAbility would like to give a report and warning about recent tractor rollovers in Vermont. Earlier this month, a seven-year-old child was killed while riding in a buddy seat with the seatbelt on, with his father spreading manure from a very large tractor with a full large liquid manure spreader attached. More

Vermont AgrAbility is also working to establish four different meeting sites around the state for farmer veterans to meet monthly to discuss things of their choice. More

West Virginia

A brief overview of WV AgrAbility, ergonomic tools, and body mechanics, was presented to Grant County Farm Bureau by Inetta Fluharty. More

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. More

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

Staff Changes


We are sad to report that Joe Young, service coordinator for AgrAbility Virginia for 12 years prior to his retirement in April 2017, died suddenly in June. He was 80 years old.

AgrAbility in the News

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Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,