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February 2018


Michigan AgrAbility advertised the web conference on disability in agriculture:2018 AgrAbility Virtual National Training Workshop. One of the Michigan AgrAbility staff presented "Beekeeping Assistive Technology". Discussion topics included arthritis, back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, amputation, paralysis, and other medical conditions that restrict beekeepers from completing necessary tasks. The webinar discussed beekeeping as a sideline enterprise, challenges faced by beekeepers with medical impairments, and assistive technology that enables beekeepers with medical impairments to do necessary tasks.

MI AgrAbility sent a Facebook blast to let their agricultural community know that there are monetary resources available to the tune of $220,000! Grant funds for Michigan AgrAbility clients are available from Michigan Rehabilitation Services in 2018 to help purchase assistive devices for farmers working with serious medical conditions. The qualification requirements are: sell at least $9250 of ag products annually; have a social security card; and have a doctor-verified medical condition.

Michigan AgrAbility presented an engineering project to the MSU Mechanical Engineering Department for senior students in Mechanical Engineering class 481 to solve as their capstone project. The past semester work produced a step that can be raised and lowered to assist clients ascending and descending from a tractor. You can watch the video here.

Submitted by Deb Chester