AgrAbility eNote banner
March 2018


It is agricultural health and safety training season in Michigan, and Michigan AgrAbility is active in ensuring that their agricultural community works safely. At each training session, Michigan AgrAbility staff share AgrAbility resources, including the Michigan AgrAbility brochure and Farm Work Risks After a Disability or Impairment brochure. In addition, staff discuss the prevention of secondary injury and how prevention can save not only costs, but also lives. As of the end of February 2018, staff had spoken with 326 farmers, farm workers, and farm families, about Michigan AgrAbility. There are more training sessions to come in March and April!

To provide low-vision or other clients that have difficulty reading the opportunity to receive restricted-use pesticide credits, Michigan AgrAbility used social media (their Facebook page) to recruit volunteers to read the National Pesticide Certified Applicator Manual. It didn't take long! Within a day, a volunteer stepped forward to read Chapter 1. Recruitment of volunteers will continue until the reading of the manual is completed.

AGR Beef Preview - Alpha Gamma Rho TAU membersAlpha Gamma Rho TAU chapter... What would Michigan AgrAbility do without this extremely supportive and motivated group of students at Michigan State University? AGR Beef PreviewAGR TAU chapter recently held the AGR Beef Preview at the Pavilion on Michigan State University campus. Approximately 600 head of cattle were shown, even with nearly 7+ inches of snow that fell during the preceding days. Proceeds from the Show will benefit Michigan AgrAbility!

During the recent National AgrAbility webinar series, Michigan AgrAbility's Ned Stoller presented Beekeeping Assistive Technology. You can find Ned's presentation on YouTube. Following the webinar, Ned shared a Beekeeping Assistive Technology publication.

When one Michigan AgrAbility client no longer has need for his/her assistive technology, what is he/she to do? One option is to contact Michigan AgrAbility staff! Staff are assisting clients who no longer need/use the assistive technology device to share these items with other clients. Staff posts the assistive technology item on their Facebook page to let their followers know the item is available.

Michigan AgrAbility is working with a capstone engineering team at Michigan State University to develop new assistive technology. Many tasks around a farm involve moving and lifting heavy buckets. Specifically, horse farms require the cleaning of stalls, which entails moving and lifting a bucket that can weigh as much as 60 pounds. Workers with certain physical conditions, such as back, arm, or leg injuries, can find the task of moving and lifting a muck bucket to be difficult, and may risk additional injuries. To help solve this problem, the ME 481 capstone team at Michigan State University is designing a dolly that can secure the bucket with minimal effort, transport it, and then lift the bucket high enough to slide onto a trailer or other vehicle. A design prototype was built and will be evaluated by a potential user, with the goal of creating a device that can be duplicated by farmers across the state, as needed. The prototype can be seen on the Michigan AgrAbility YouTube page.

Submitted by Deb Chester