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October 2017

National AgrAbility Project News

NTW Updates

The next AgrAbility all-staff meeting is scheduled November 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

AgrAbility Webinar Series: FSA's Disability Employment Program - November 14, 3:00 p.m. ET.

Save the date: the 2018 AgrAbility VIRTUAL National Training Workshop is scheduled for January 23-25, comprising six webinars in three days. Check your email soon for a request for webinar proposals.

JR Goes Ahead in TrackChair at Little Big Horn CollegePaul 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. More

Chuck Baldwin participated as a presenter and exhibitor September 19-20 at the Midwest Stream Forum for Farmworker Health held in Grand Rapids, MI. More

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. More

Auger Jogger photoToolbox Spotlight: With the motorized Auger Jogger Swing-Auger Mover, one can reportedly position the auger underneath the grain truck or wagon via hand-held remote from the vehicle cab, from outside up to 100 feet away, or via manual toggle switches.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


RISE presentation - Esme and SaraCalAgrAbility staff presented at the RISE collaborative meeting for Yolo County. More

CalAgrAbility sponsored a rural independent living webinar, which was a collaboration with APRIL, on October 5th.

CalAgrAbility staff attended a resource fair in Yuba City, an agricultural area known for its heavy production of orchard crops. They had the opportunity to speak to 50 families during the event, which brought 400 people. More

Nutrition Health and Safety Fair - SaraCalAgrAbility outreached at the Nutrition, Health and Safety Fair at Westwood Elementary to over 150 students. Students learned about farming and gardening safety. More

CalAgrAbility staff stayed active outreaching, educating, and offering workshops to commemorate National Farm Safety and Health Week 2017. MoreLodi Health Fair - Esme and Sara

Staff outreached to over 100 families from Lodi, a region known for wine-grape production. Many of the attendees were farmworkers and gardeners experiencing arthritis and carpel tunnel symptoms. More


Colorado AgrAbility completed its first spinal cord injury workshop in coordination with the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation. The turnout was great, and the conversation and networking were excellent.


AgrAbility in Georgia is co-sponsoring a series of workshops to train veterans on produce food safety. More

GA AgrAbility staff and UGA engineering students with Danny SimsAgrAbility staff and UGA senior engineering students working on their senior design project met with Georgia hog/sheep farmer and AgrAbility client Danny Sims on Friday September 24th. Danny was the inspiration for their senior design project - "Easy Hookup of a PTO Shaft." More

GA AgrAbility staff and veterans taping video vignettesAgrAbility Staff have been videotaping some of the veterans the project is serving. They will soon have several short video vignettes uploaded to the website. Pictured (L - R) Timothy Robinson Jr., Timothy Robinson Sr., Mason Dean, Rebecca Brightwell, and Chris Dorsey.GA AgrAbility staff and volunteers in LaGrange, GA

AgrAbility staff and other University of Georgia staff participated in a volunteer workday Saturday, September 30, 2017, in LaGrange, GA. More


Illinois AgrAbility coordinated the Health & Safety Tent at the Farm Progress Show.


Indiana AgrAbility Rural Rehabilitation Specialist Steve Swain, ATP, presented Practical AT Use to a class of Purdue graduate students. More

Purdue and Ohio State Extension AgrAbility booth at OH Farm Science ReviewPurdue University Extension collaborated with The Ohio State University Extension with displays and presentations at the Ohio Farm Science Review near London, Ohio. More

IN AgrAbility and Purdue Extension Beekeeping Basic Training for VeteransBeekeeping Basic Training for Veterans - a two-day workshop conducted as part of the Indiana Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development program, was attended by 31 veterans and family members on Sep 29-30. More

Linda Tarr worked with Hoosier Uplands Area 15 Agency on Aging with its Senior Games event. More

In addition to attending several farm events, Carl Jenkins worked the Harrison County Cattle Field Day, Washington County Cattle Field Day, and Crawford-Orange County Soil-Water Cattle Field Day. More


KY AgrAbility staff ended September the way they started: busy. The staff was busy in the field working with accessible garden projects at several sites and connecting with clients. More

Third Thursday Event focused on aquaculture and had a full house for the event. Guests at the event were able to see the types of vegetables and flowers that can be grown in raised beds at the research farm.

The meeting with the Owensboro Regional Hospital rehabilitation team was very well attended and AgrAbility has been asked to return to supply more training for occupational therapists and physical therapists in working with farmers with injuries or disabilities. More

Kentucky AgrAbility has a full agenda for October starting with the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury on Friday, October 6. More

Also in October and early November are the KY Extension agent training sessions. These are attended by all members of the Extension staff. More


On September 8, project coordinator Lani Carlson presented AgrAbility program information and 2018 NTW save-the-date postcards to 25 agricultural service providers from across Maine at the Beginning Farmers Resource Network meeting.

ME AgrAbility and ATV Safety and Farmington FairProject Coordinator Lani Carlson staffed an ATV safety educational display and demonstration at the Franklin County Soil Water Conservation District's Agricultural-Environmental Education Day. More

Lani Carlson and project director Richard Brzozowski met with the Travis Mills Foundation on September 18. The foundation was formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans and their families. Travis will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 NTW in Portland, Maine.

Richard Brzozowski and Lani Carlson worked with a videographer at Chapter 3 Farm in Newburgh, on September 21, to document a Maine AgrAbility raised-bed gardenvariety of assistive technologies and their uses. More

Five AgrAbility staff worked at the three-day Common Ground Fair in Unity. The theme was universal design focusing on task lighting. More


Cover of "Farm Work Risks After a Disability or Impairment brochureMichigan Farm Bureau and Michigan AgrAbility developed a Farm Work Risks After a Disability or Impairment brochure. More

The Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity at Michigan State University is such an awesome supporter of Michigan AgrAbility. More

The National Center for Farmworker Health hosted the Midwest Stream Forum for Agricultural Worker Health in Grand Rapids September 18-20. More

Recognizing where injury can occur and preventing it from happening is one of the primary tenants of farm safety. Putting farm safety into practice is the goal of National Farm Safety Week. More


Minnesota AgrAbility staff had a very busy couple of days at the 2017 Minnesota Farmfest in Redwood Falls, MN. Volunteers and staff received 100 inquiries regarding the ROPS program and options available under the Minnesota program. MoreDavid Glamm, MN dairy farmer

David Glamm, one of the MN AgrAbility peer mentors, participated in the farm safety program, "Protecting You, Your Family, Your Employees, and Your Bottom Line." More

EquipALifeEquipALife has been actively involved in the Minnesota Farm Bill Advisory Committee and is the only non-profit organization to be invited to participate. More

Meanwhile, EquipALife personnel are gearing up for the 2018 Fenceline training workshop. They would like to expand their audience this year to include youth, students of higher education and more members of the agriculture community.


AgrAbility staff facilitated interviews during the National Farm Safety and Health Week, "Putting Farm Safety Into Practice," September 17-23, 2017. Farm physical and mental health issues were discussed and resources shared.

Missouri AgrAbility staff facilitated four rehab/engineering fee-for-service level II onsite farmstead consultations with Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation district supervisors, case managers, and student interns this month.

Karen Funkenbusch was awarded a United States Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) one-year grant award. More

Karen Funkenbusch presented "Farming with a Disability" at the 23rd Annual Women in Agriculture State Conference at Old Kinderhook in Camdenton, Missouri.

Joni and Travis Harper, both University of Missouri Extension faculty, and Karen Funkenbusch, OAO and AgrAbility director, hosted a one-day "Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs" workshop in Versailles, Missouri. More

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, a Missouri AgrAbility collaborator, included two student pharmacists in AgrAbility client outreach activities throughout September. MoreDion Tyler and Paige Stipanovich

Two student pharmacists, Dion Tyler and Paige Stipanovich, from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy at MU, presented "Drug Education Following Stroke" to a stroke support group. More

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility's Beatriz Rodriguez at the Minority Landowners ConferenceNorth Carolina AgrAbility presented the program in four sessions at the Minority Landowners Magazine 11th Anniversary Conference, "RESOURCES: Agencies, Organizations and Professionals Who Support Family Farms", Greensboro, NC, September 21-23, 2017. More

NC AgrAbility presented at the NC Assistive Technology Grant Advisory Council, Raleigh, NC, on September 15, 2017. MoreBeatriz Rodriguez and Kristoff Minus with award

NC AgrAbility Grad Student Kristoff Minus was awarded with the Best Internship/Study Abroad at the Student Showcase of Excellence on September 6, 2017. More

NC AgrAbility hosted the first advisory board meeting at NCA&T on September 27, 2017. More


OH, West VA, and PA AgrAbility booth at Farm Aid 2017Ohio AgrAbility joined forces with neighboring SRAPs, West Virginia AgrAbility, and AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians, to offer outreach education and promote the national program mission at Farm Aid 2017. MoreAgrAbility booth at Farm Science Review

The Ohio AgrAbility Program exhibited at the 55th Farm Science Review September 19 - 21. More

Rural rehabilitation coordinators Charlie Landis and Randy Joseph offered daily workshops on modifications for the barn, worksite, and equipment. Disability Services Coordinator Laura Akgerman held daily sessions for professionals interested in working with Ohio AgrAbility; More

An OAP livestock producer spent several hours talking to an Engineering capstone student group about modifying a skid-loader to make it wheelchair accessible. More

Laura presented two sessions on gardening with arthritis at the Utzinger Garden gazebo, and a session on farming and gardening with arthritis at the Small Farm Center. More

OAP provided the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener program with tips on gardening with arthritis, which were printed on garden signs and placed throughout the garden.

In addition to the exhibit tent and workshops, Ohio AgrAbility hosted the Universal Design Garage (part of a larger UD house) and offered examples and information on using universal design in the workshop and farm. More


Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid 201Thousands of festival goers explored interactive exhibits and activities as part of the Farm Aid '17 concert event that took place in Burgettstown, PA, on Sept. 16. More

AgrAbility PA Project Assistant Abbie Spackman had the privilege of delivering a Grit Freedom Chair to a Pennsylvania farmer! The chair was donated by Chip Petrea and AgrAbility Unlimited! More

Several annual meetings took place in September involving statewide assistive technology resource providers and centers - and AgrAbility PA staff members were present to engage with these organizations that impact access to AT resources. More

AgrAbility PA joined national organizations and groups that recognized and raised awareness about farm safety and health during the annual National Farm Safety and Health Week Sept. 17-23. More


Tennessee AgrAbility Project (TNAP) wrapped up fair season exhibiting at the TN Valley Fair in Knoxville.

TNAP participated in National Farm and Health Safety Week by raising awareness at several farm safety days including Down on the Farm/Farm Bureau/Progressive Agriculture Safety Day at the Fair with over 850 children learning about AgrAbility and ways to stay safe.

TNAP presented AgrAbility to central region agricultural and natural resources Extension agents and specialists. More

Dr. Deborah Reed presented her unique CDC-NIOSH research program that gets families talking about health and safety over a dinner theater. More

Ag Day and LIfe Essentials lift at University of TN Institute of AgThank you to Bill Begley for helping at the University of TN Institute of Agriculture Ag Day for Alumni. Life Essentials' lift display attracted many people and gave TNAP staff the opportunity to talk about AgrAbility. More

TNAP exhibited at another Joint Operation in Cleveland, TN, and meet several veterans who want to farm. Great place with over 50 resources in a one-stop shop to access local resources and services available to veterans.

Thank you to Derrick Sowell, horticultural therapist with UT Gardens Knoxville, for another amazing veterans' horticultural therapy workshop in Clarksville. More

TN New Farmer Academy 4th graduating classCongratulations to Finis Stribling, Tennessee State University, and the fourth graduating class from the Tennessee New Farmer Academy, our newest farmers. More

OT/PT studentTNAP staff had the privilege to speak to 20 UT Memphis OT/PT students on the AgrAbility program. The students were not required to attend, so staff were very pleased with the 20 that attended. MoreAgRUNAbility 2017

The annual TN AgRUNAbility 5k/2 mi WALK was held September 16-19 throughout Tennessee for UT TSU Extension staff. More


Disaster assistance workshop in TXTexas AgrAbility, in partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, USDA, Farm Bureau, Texas Department of Agriculture, and multiple disaster assistance organizations, hosted a disaster assistance workshop in Raywood, Texas. More

The Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training Project applications have been accepted for the fall 2017 cohort, which will gather for a basic training weekend on October 14-15 at 7D Ranch in Navasota, Texas. More

Prairie View A&M Battleground to Breaking Ground Workshop and farm tour will be held on October 20 and 21 in Prairie View. The October 20th farm tour will showcase VegOut! Farms in Pattison, Texas. MoreLand Loss Prevention Workshop in Crockett, TX

Forty-two landowners and persons interested in wealth creation through land ownership were onsite to attend the Land Loss Prevention Workshop held recently at the Crockett Civic Center in Crockett, Texas. More


AgrAbility of Utah participated in the fifth annual Assistive Technology Fair at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) on September 20. More

In September, AgrAbility of Utah staff continued providing educational presentations to Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) districts with presentations at the Northern District VR office in Logan on September 11 and the Southern District VR office in St. George on September 26. More


AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff participated in the three-day long event, Indian Summer Festival. More

The Mayr Family Corn Maze, located in DeForest, WI, hosted their annual benefit weekend with proceeds going to AgrAbility of Wisconsin. More


Staff Changes


Jimmy Hill of GA AgrAbilityJimmy Hill with AgrAbility in Georgia recently received a top honor by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association. The Alumni Award of Excellence recognizes alumni who have achieved a high level of success in their chosen field. The award was presented at a gala on September 22.


Illinois AgrAbility advisory member and longtime NAP supporter Donald Skinner passed away September 2017. Illinois AgrAbility staff appreciate all the support and advocacy of AgrAbility that Don provided over the years.

North Carolina

North Carolina AgrAbility welcomes its new project director, Dr. Janine Parker. Dr. Parker is the agribusiness and marketing specialist at Cooperative Extension at NCA&T State University. More

North Carolina AgrAbility also welcomes Dr. Paula Faulkner as the co-PI. Dr. Faulkner is an associate professor in the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education at North Carolina A&T State University, and has been working with the AgrAbility project as a collaborator over the last two years. More


George Cook - Vermont AgrAbilityThe University of Vermont said goodbye to George Cook as he retired September 28.

The Vermont AgrAbility project will sorely miss George in the coming years. He has been an inspiration to all of us as well as a faithful leader. We thank you for your service to farmers with disabilities in Vermont, and we wish you the best of luck, health, and fun in your retirement. More


AgrAbility of Wisconsin would like to congratulate rural rehabilitation specialist Jeff Kratochwill. Toward the end of September, Jeff took the grueling five-hour exam and was happy to report he received his Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) Certification.

This year, Easter Seals WI, a partner in AgrAbility of WI project, has two significant staff milestones. Jeff Kratochwill, lead rural rehabilitation specialist, is celebrating 10 years, during which he has spent working with hundreds of farmers to continue farming in addition to co-supervising and training other rural rehabilitation specialists. Paul Leverenz, vice president of FARM and Vocational Services, is celebrating 25 years with the organization. In addition to his involvement with AgrAbility of Wisconsin, Paul works directly with technical and program assistants, rural rehabilitation and self-employment services specialists, and oversees the Disability HelpLine of Outagamie County. AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff is grateful to have such dedicated, hardworking colleagues, and looks forward to many more years.

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Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,