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January 2018


Abbie Spackman and Delta Theta SigmaThe students of Penn State University's Delta Theta Sigma, a social professional agricultural fraternity, hosted a fundraiser for AgrAbility client Matt Cook. The fraternity raised $1,000 for Matt to purchase additional garlic drying racks for his farm. AgrAbility PA began working with Matt in 2015 after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

"Delta Theta Sigma has supported AgrAbility for many years and we greatly appreciate their support and the hard work they put into the fundraisers," said Abbie Spackman, project assistant for AgrAbility PA. Pictured are Abbie Spackman (center) with DTS philanthropy chairs Nathan Pearlman and Hannah Menges. To read more, click here.

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to provide assistance to individuals farming with disabilities. A $180,000 USDA-NIFA grant will support AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians (AgrAbility PA), which is a partnership between Penn State Extension and UCP of Central Pennsylvania, a nonprofit specializing in services for people of all ages with a disability.

"The health and safety of our nation's agricultural community is of utmost importance," said Connie Baggett, associate professor of agricultural and extension education, who also serves as principal investigator for AgrAbility PA. "We are grateful for the financial support from USDA-NIFA so that we may continue to promote quality of life and independence for farmers and farm families with disabilities."

Since its inception at Penn State in 1995, the program has provided direct services to more than 750 agricultural producers in the state by conducting on-farm assessments, providing farmers with disabilities with individualized recommendations about farm accessibility, and identifying assistive technology devices and providers. Thousands more are the recipients of indirect services, such as referrals and farm safety education. Read more here.

AgrAbility provided information about assistive technology to attendees at the 2017 Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network Symposium. During this event over 50 women gathered to network with other female farmers and to learn about sustainable agricultural practices.

Submitted by Abbie Spackman