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March 2018

National AgrAbility Project News

Spring Point Lighthouse by Wayne Boardman - no changesNTW Updates

The Time is Drawing Near! It looks like about 240 will join us in Portland, Maine, for the 2018 AgrAbility NTW. With over 55 sessions, five tours, and almost 100 presenters, it promises to be another year filled with great educational and networking opportunities.

NIFA has released the 2018 Request for Applications (RFA) for the AgrAbility competitive grant program.  Applications are due April 30, 2018. Click here to view Funding Opportunity Announcement. NIFA will host a Webinar for interested applicants on March 15th (Thursday), 2018, at 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm EST. More

Two anel speakers at the ASHCA conference  with oresentation screen in backgroundThe NAP participated in the North American Agricultural Safety Summit sponsored by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) on February 21-23. More

The National AgrAbility Project had a display at the 2018 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 14-17, 2018. More

Upcoming webinars: "Demographic Data Collection" with Chuck Baldwin, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. EDT; "AgrAbility and Occupational Therapy" with Danyele Clingan (NAP OTD intern), April 26 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Strong Arm lift ready to lift seed bags onto UTVToolbox Spotlight: With its multiple attachments, the Strong-Arm Lift is designed to allow one to pick up and deposit into a UTV cargo bed all types of items (e.g., rocks, debris, hay, logs, feed/fertilizer/seed bags, game animals), often without having to leave the driver's seat.

Click here for the schedule of upcoming Community of Interest and Standing Committee call information.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News


Rollover Protection Structure seminarCalifornia AgrAbility attended Farzaneh Khorsandi's seminar on agricultural tractor operator safety in roll-over accidents. More

California AgrAbility attended the monthly RISE Collaborative meeting. This month the special presentation was on human trafficking. More

Paul Jones, Sara Wat, and Bob Aherin at ASHCA conferencCalifornia AgrAbility attended the North American Agricultural Safety Summit hosted by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) in Scottsdale, Arizona. MoreBlack Farmer Conference

California AgrAbility attended the first "Growing Together" Black Farmers with Urban Farmers Conference in Fresno, California. More


Colorado AgrAbility used a new approach in conducting their Winter Workshops this year. Instead of having them spaced out from October to February, they had all eight scheduled in February. More


Student interviewGeorgia AgrAbility recently filmed engineering students at UGA sharing their experiences working with farmers served by the project. One of the students will be attending the AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Maine. More

Attendees at the USDA Programs and Loans workshopThe AgrAbility program co-sponsored a workshop to introduce potential farmers to USDA programs and loans at the University of Georgia Tifton campus on Wednesday, Feb. 28. More

Staff attended and spoke to about 100 farmers from Georgia at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG) annual conference in Chattanooga, TN. More

Staff spoke to Women's Club in Dahlonega, GA, about the services that Farm Again/AgrAbility has to offer. More

Georgia AgrAbility sponsored a webinar on February 5 titled "iPad Apps and Adaptations for Farmer with Disabilities". More

AgrAbility in Georgia is co-sponsoring several workshops geared to new or beginning farmers. From how to drive a tractor to selling at the farmers market, there is a topic for everyone. More


Illinois AgrAbility Program's field coordinator, Jim Williams, attended multiple events throughout the area to increase awareness of the program during the month of February. More

The staff also created and sent a survey to all its ambassadors to learn more about the promotional activities for AgrAbility they have participated in within their local area and to learn more about how staff members can better support them... More


The Indiana AgrAbility Project had a display at the 2018 Horticulture Congress at the Marriott East Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 13-15, 2018. More

Indiana AgrAbility staffed a display at the 2nd Annual FED: Food Expo and Discussion in Hobart, Indiana, at the County Line Orchard and Convention Hall. More

Linda Tarr attended the Orange County Farm Bureau annual meeting, Ag Days at Bromer and Corydon, and the Midwest Women in Agriculture conference in Muncie. She also worked three days at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville.

Chuck Baldwin, Breaking New Ground (BNG)/IN AgrAbility project manager, and Steven Etheridge, IN AgrAbility VR consultant, staffed an AgrAbility booth at the Northern Indiana Grazing Conference February 2-3. More


Kansas AgrAbility (KAP) had a huge presence at the 2018 Kansas Women Managing the Farm Conference February 15-16. More


The First Friday Breakfast for the KY College of Agriculture, Food and Environment featured KY AgrAbility as the guest speaker. More

KY AgrAbility's Kioti tractor at National Farm Machinery ShowThe wettest February on record is finally over. Major flooding left KY farmers wading in mud and delaying some of the farm work. What better way to spend the day than going to the 53rd National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. More

Mike Lewis was able to break away from the farm show to present at the February Third Thursday Event at the KSU Demonstration Farm in Frankfort. More

March 2-3 was the Organic Growers of Kentucky Workshop. This year KY AgrAbility was asked to participate and exhibit at the workshop that was held in Lexington.

Of course, staff are looking forward to coming to Maine to meet old friends, make new ones and learn new things.

April 14th will be the KY AgrAbility workshop for veteran and beginning farmers, "Cultivating Accessible Opportunities for Veterans in Agriculture: A Beginning Farmer Training." More

This is the last year of KY AgrAbility's grant, so staff are looking forward to applying for the next grant and keeping the momentum going with the new partnership with the KY Ag Commissioner, Ryan Quarles, and the ag safety group from the state office.


Maine AgrAbility exhibited at the three-day Fishermen's Forum in Rockland, Maine. More

Maine AgrAbility was mentioned during an hour-long radio show about occupational therapy and its role to support people regaining their independence. More

Richard Brzozowski and Lani Carlson worked with a videographer at Chapter 3 Farm in Newburgh, Maine, last fall, to document a variety of assistive technology and its uses on the farm. More


It is agricultural health and safety training season in Michigan, and Michigan AgrAbility is active in ensuring that their agricultural community works safely. More

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. More

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? More

During the recent National AgrAbility webinar series, Michigan AgrAbility's Ned Stoller presented Beekeeping Assistive Technology. More

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! More

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. More


Rural agricultural small acre gardeners, and "never-gardened-before" adults and teens learned the basics of small-acre vegetable gardening at a "Small Acre Vegetable Gardening 101" seminar hosted by MU Extension and Missouri AgrAbility. More

Farmers with disabilitiesMissouri AgrAbility in collaboration with the MU Extension Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program) co-hosted four "ABC's of USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Programs" workshops across the state. More

The Missouri AgrAbility Project is being highlighted with the Brain Injury Fact of the Day for Brain Injury Awareness Month. A unique Brain Injury Fact of the Day is being aired on three rural Missouri radio stations each day of March 2018. More

The BIA-MO Survivor & Family Seminars in Western and Southwest Missouri featured the Missouri AgrAbility Project, as a sponsor, and during the "Healthy Me" and other sessions. More

The BIA-MO Networking Coffee held in St. Louis on March 6, 2018, had more than 10 professionals who serve persons with brain injury, as well as Veterans, attend for the first time. More

UM System President Mun Choi, Kelly Cochran, Autumn Jaeger, Paige Stipanovich, and Megan LukePharm to Farm and University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, Missouri AgrAbility Project collaborators, presented at the inaugural University of Missouri System Legislative Showcase. More

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility boothNC AgrAbility Partnership staffed a booth at the 2018 Small Farms AgriShop Series at the Piedmont Region on February 6th, at the Southeastern Region on February 7th, at the Northeastern Region on February 13th, and at the Western Region on February 15th. More

NC AgrAbility at Farmer Buyer ExchangeOn February 13, 2018, NC AgrAbility Partnership participated as an exhibitor at the Farmer Buyer Exchange event at Sandhill's AGInnovation Center in Richmond County. More

NC AgrAbility at AgritunityNC AgrAbility Partnership participated as an exhibitor at the 2018 NC Agritunity Conference and Trade Show. This event is designed to meet the economic and environmental needs of small and large farmers. More

Betty Rodriguez at Successful Small Farms Opportunities ConferenceThe "Successful Small Farms Opportunities Conference" is the place where NC farmers can explore alternative enterprises by speaking with successful producers and university personnel who are already growing and researching specialty enterprises. More


Staff members had the opportunity to provide booths at the Healthy Farms Conference in Lincoln, hosted by Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture, at the Buffalo Bill Expo in North Platte, Nebraska, and the Women in Ag conference in Kearney, Nebraska. MoreBrock

Nebraska AgrAbility has been busy with client services. To read what clients Brock and Chip had to say, click here.


Ohio AgrAbility "Safety Barn"Ohio AgrAbility debuted their "Safety Barn" at the 2018 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association conference. More

Ohio AgrAbility staff met with the 2017- 2021 advisory committee to review activities from the past two grant cycles and to introduce new initiatives and plans for the current grant cycle. More


PA AgrAbility at Farming for the Future ConferenceAgrAbility for Pennsylvanians participated in the annual Farming for the Future Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). More

AgrAbility staff participated in the President's Day Commercial Tree Fruit School, located in one of the largest apple-producing regions in the county. Sessions at this event are offered in English and Spanish to accommodate the diverse group of attendees. More


Michael O'Gorman at Pick Tennessee ConferenceTennessee AgrAbility Project (TNAP) exhibited at the annual Pick Tennessee Conference 2018 and hosted three educational sessions with over 400 in attendance. More

TN AgrAbility staff had exhibits at the Western Region Grain Conference, the TN/KY Tobacco Expo, and the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts 74th Annual Convention.

Charley Jordan, Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN point-of-contact and spokesperson for TNAP, told his story on the following podcast: Click here. More

2018 National Conference of National Association of Agricultural Agents and Specialists - July 29-August 2, 2018 in Chattanooga, TN. Please let TNAP know if you plan to attend or want exhibit space.

At the first beginning farmer workshop, there were 23 participants. Topics included: TN AgrAbility, Farmer Veteran Coalition, and "Deciding What to Grow on Your Farm." MoreDr. Deborah Reed doing farm safety and health theater

Ag nurse Dr. Deborah Reed partnered with TNAP to promote AgrAbility through farm safety and health theater. TNAP hosted the theatre at the Pick TN Conference 2018. More


Farm tourTexas AgrAbility, in partnership with the Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training Project, hosted a farm tour and ag workshop on February 15 and 16 in Corpus Christi, Texas. More

Justin Butts, veteran speakerThe agriculture business workshop was delivered to over 25 veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers at the Robstown Extension Building on February 17, 2018. More

Makenzie McLaurin, program coordinator, attended a Texas A&M AgirLife Extension RPL meeting to give information on Texas AgrAbility. More

Erin Kimbrough, Makenzie McLaurin, and Stacey Kingman attended the TexVet Mental Health Symposium in Round Rock, Texas. More

Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training Project applications are open for cohort 3. Applications close on March 18, 2018. More


AgrAbility of Utah conducted outreach at the 7th annual Carbon County crop classes in Price on February 7. More

AgrAbility of Utah staffed a booth at the Alfalfa U workshop February 8 in Ogden. More

Staff attended the 2018 Beef Cattle Field Day February 13 at the BYU Harman Conference Center in Provo. More

AgrAbility of Utah joined several other agricultural vendors and service providers to offer program outreach and education at a soil health workshop February 22. More


The first "show" of February for AgrAbility of Wisconsin was the Midwest Rural Energy Conference held in La Crosse, WI. More

AgrAbility of Wisconsin attended the 38th annual Marshfield Farm Show held February 21 and 22. More

AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff also attended and exhibited at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) held in La Crosse, WI, on February 22nd through 24th. More

West Virginia

WV AgrAbility staff was represented at WV Farm Bureau Day, West Virginia State University Day, and Agriculture and Conservation Day during the West Virginia legislative session. More

Approximately 500 farmers from around West Virginia attended the WV Small Farm Conference. WV AgrAbility staff attended the conference while networking with farmers, service providers, and equipment dealers. More

Staff Changes and Recognition

GeorgiaWhitney Ostrander

Whitney Ostrander was recently hired as the outreach and dissemination coordinator for Farm Again/AgrAbility Georgia. She will be joining us at the NTW.


It is official! Congratulations to David W. Middleton, Missouri AgrAbility outreach worker with Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program (ISFOP) at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, who was awarded a Master of Science degree in animal sciences from the University of Missouri.


Texas AgrAbility welcomes a new case manager, Stacey Kingman, to the team. Stacey has a bachelor's degree in agriculture economics from Texas A&M University. She has experience in production agriculture and education. Stacey will be assisting the Texas AgrAbility team with case management to deliver assistance and recommendations to Texas AgrAbility clients.

AgrAbility in the News

Click here for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Other News

Click here for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.

Upcoming Events

Click here for professional development events related to AgrAbility.

Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,