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December 2017


KY AgrAbility is finding it hard to believe that 2017 is quickly coming to a close. So many changes have come to the group at UK. KY AgrAbility has a new project manager, Mike Lewis, and Dr. Debbie Reed has joined the KY AgrAbility team and the UK College of Ag, Food, and Environment.

The KY AgrAbility presentation at the November Third Thursday event at KSU brought many opportunities to talk to farmers and farm families from the surrounding counties and even some from other states. The demonstration Kubota tractor was available for the attendees to see how a simple adaptation like hand controls can make mobility on the farm easier.

The KY Farm Bureau Convention was held November 29 to December 2, and KY AgrAbility was in the exhibit hall at the Galt House in Louisville. This was a chance to meet and talk to some clients, introduce others to the idea of farming with a disability, and, since many of the Extension agents attend the meeting, a chance to find out how things are going in their counties. Keeping the lines of communication open with the agents supplies KY AgrAbility with opportunities for educating the rural communities.

Locust Trace AgriScience Center in LexingtonOn December 19th, Dr. Debbie Reed and the KY AgrAbility staff will be presenting to the students and faculty of the Lexington/Fayette County Locust Trace AgriScience Center. Locust Trace AgriScience Center is the newest career and technical high school in Lexington, Kentucky, with energy and environment being key factors in the facility design and agriculture being the educational focus. This state-of-the-art educational facility houses large and small animal clinics and a veterinary practice on the campus. Classes in forage, crops, organics, aquaponics, and other variations of agriculture, are taught at the campus. The facility teaches students farming sustainably, recycling water from rain, using other opportunities to irrigate the gardens, and composting much of the animal waste. The focus of the presentation will be on youth and farm safety and the ability of farming to continue even after an accident or illness causes a hardship.

The new year will see some of the KY staff attending the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group in Chattanooga, TN. The exhibit booth is a great chance to introduce AgrAbility to farmers from across the southern states. The staff at the booth always have a good time informing the attendees about AgrAbility and the things that can be accomplished with some ingenuity and thought.

The next big event will be the National Farm Machinery Show at the KY Exposition Center in Louisville. Each year brings more people and more interesting ideas and equipment. The event will be held during the day from February 14-17 with the National Tractor Pull in the evenings. Last year more than 350,000 attended the event that had 880 booths in 1.2 million square feet. Bring your walking shoes and join us at the largest indoor farm equipment event in the US.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from KY AgrAbility Staff!

Submitted by Linda Bokros