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January 2018


Dr. Deborah Reed at Locust Trace AgScience CenterDecember ended with Dr. Deborah Reed and Linda Bokros addressing 150 students and faculty at the Locust Trace AgScience Center in Lexington, KY. This group of mostly urban members of the FFA were very interested in learning about the professions available in agriculture. As a registered ag nurse, Dr. Reed was able to talk to them about the new program for ag nurses at the UK College of Nursing, and why problems associated with farm work require some specialized training. Also included in the program were the KY AgrAbility goals, how AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities, and a discussion on how this affects the family. Staff are glad to have Dr. Reed working with the College of Ag, Food and Environment at UK, and as a member of the KY AgrAbility Board.

January is the Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference at the Embassy Suites in Lexington, Kentucky, followed immediately by the KY Cattlemen's Association Convention and Ag Industry Trade Show in downtown Lexington. Both events are well-attended and give KY AgrAbility a chance to catch up with old clients and friends and to introduce the program to those that have not heard of AgrAbility.

Chattanooga, TN, hosts the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) 2018 Annual Conference and Trade Show at the end of January. This year's theme is "Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms". The booth for KY AgrAbility will be showing some of the practical tools for gardening and modification of farm equipment to help farmers with disabilities continue to be productive on their farms. The conference allows for meeting farm families from all over the southern United States.

February's main event is the National Farm Machinery Show at the Exposition Center in Louisville, KY, beginning February 14 and going until Saturday, February 17. Each year, more than 300,000 attendees pour into the largest indoor farm machinery exhibit in the United States. The four-day event culminates each evening with the preliminary rounds of the National Truck and Tractor Pull, with Saturday being the main event: the championship. Attendees come from across America, Canada, and many other countries outside of North America. For anyone who has not been to this event, it is well worth the effort to go. National AgrAbility and KY AgrAbility have booths set up in the exhibit halls, and with the number of people attending, there is a chance to help quite a few people with information on the AgrAbility program.

Submitted by Linda Bokros