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October 2017

National AgrAbility Project

Don't Forget to Save the Date for NTW 2018!

View of Portlan, MaineThe AgrAbility National Training Workshop will take place in Portland, Maine, March 19-22, 2018, at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel.

The NTW planning committee has received a plethora of presentations to review. They hope to have an agenda and registration available in the near future.

As you are out and about visiting clients, it isn't too early to consider stopping in at a local business to solicit auction donations and sponsorship dollars. They may also want to consider being a vendor at the NTW.

As always, your input and feedback are welcome to make NTW 2018 the best yet!
Contact JoBeth or Tess anytime at: - JoBeth Rath - 585.402.2059 and Tess McKeel - - 585.447.9015

Submitted by Tess McKeel and JoBeth Rath

The National AgrAbility Project collaborated with Ohio AgrAbility in a diverse display of services and assistive technology at the Ohio Farm Science Review near London, Ohio, on September 19-21, 2017. Ohio AgrAbility offered sessions on Ohio AgrAbility services, assistive technology for the farm, Ohio Vocational Rehabilitation Services, worker's compensation services, and a discussion about a capstone project for an Ohio AgrAbility client. Well done Ohio AgrAbility!!!

Submitted by Steve Swain

Wade Drift Wood, Donald Spotted Tail, and Richard White Clay with TrackChairsPaul Jones, NAP project manager, and Chuck Baldwin, NAP special populations outreach coordinator, traveled to Crow Agency, Montana, to help facilitate the first 1994 land-grant-hosted AgrAbility workshop at Little Big Horn College (LBHC) September 13-14. The event was planned in cooperation with Dr. Jim Hafer, professor and program director of the Agricultural/Natural Resource Sciences Department at Chief Dull Knife College. Latonna Old Elk, Extension program director for LBHC, along with many staff, did a great job of hosting the workshop that was attended by 57 primarily Native American participants.

Corey McGregor teaching the TrackChair to Collena Caplett. In the back are Georgie Ann Bad Bear, Sharone Curly, JR Goes Ahead, Dr. Davis, Annie Leider, Mr. Big Man, and Bill BegleyIn addition to the introduction to AgrAbility given by Paul and Chuck, the attendees were treated to wonderfully informative sessions on topics that included centers for independent living and accessible hunting (both taught by Corey McGregor of Wyoming CIL), assistive technology and Life Essentials (taught by Bill Begley), the services of both the Montana Vocation Rehabilitation and Blind Services (by Mike Norbury and Bill Alexander of MT VR and Blind Services) and the USDA Farm Service Agency (by Jennifer Perez Cole, Katie Berkram, and Bruce Johnson, MT FSA), and services for veterans in agriculture, which included the showing of the video The Next Mission: Breaking Down Barriers for Veterans in Agriculture. (Paul Jones).

JR Goes Ahead in TrackChair at Little Big Horn CollegeOn Wednesday afternoon, a number of participants enjoyed trying out the Action TrackChairs brought by Corey McGregor.

Many attendees expressed their appreciation for what they learned about AgrAbility and what they could do to help their farmers/ranchers with disabilities, while Paul, Bill, and Chuck also learned many things about the particular struggles of Native American farmers and ranchers, especially with respect to land-ownership and usage rights.

Iron Indians at Little Big Horn BattlefieldRose Williamson, private guide at Little Big Horn battlefieldFollowing the workshop, Latonna Old Elk arranged a private tour for Paul, Bill, and Chuck, of the Little Big Horn battlefield where General George Custer took his last stand. Their tour was conducted by Rose, a delightfully expressive Mato Heton Bear With Horns fell here markerprofessional guide who had been trained by Latonna as a student at LBHC, and who made the battle come alive. It was a stark, painful reminder of the historic struggles bGen. George Custer fell here markeretween Native Americans and the U.S. government, and for the three AgrAbility representatives from Indiana, a good experience in the importance of coming to understand such conflicts and their continuing effects from all vantage points.

Chuck Baldwin participated as a presenter and exhibitor September 19-20 at the Midwest Stream Forum for Farmworker Health held in Grand Rapids, MI. The theme of the conference was "Sowing Seeds of Health, Equity, and Hope". Chuck taught a session titled "Increasing Performance, Safety, Quality of Life, and Longevity in the workplace for Migrant/Seasonal and Other Ag Workers with Disabilities and Other Functional Limitations". Chuck is especially grateful to Esme Mandujano (CalAgrAbility), Paul Jones (NAP), and Karen Funkenbusch (MO AgrAbility), for their contributions to his understanding of AgrAbility's work with migrant/seasonal ag populations, and to all the SRAPs who participated in the recent survey of AgrAbility's work among these ag workers.

Good contacts for AgrAbility were made, and several organizations working with migrant agricultural workers indicated their intention to invite AgrAbility to come and share with them as they do migrant camp visits.

E. Roberta Ryder, president and CEO of the National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc, wrote a good reminder on the introductory page of the 2017 Forum program to all who work with agricultural laborers: "We are each responsible for educating others about the reality that Agricultural Workers face today, and about their contributions to our economy and our society. Together we can improve health status through increased access to quality care for this very special population." AgrAbility is a part of that "quality care".

Submitted by Chuck Baldwin