Indiana AgrAbility staffed a display in the Indiana FFA Pavilion at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis August 3 thru 19. The display included an AgrAbility popup banner, a TV showing the It's About Hope video, an accessible tool display, AgrAbility publications, veteran publications, and safety publications. It also included a John Deere tractor with a Life Essentials lift and an Action Track Stander power wheelchair.
On Farmer's Day at the Indiana State Fair, Indiana AgrAbility presented a display in the Purdue Extension/Horticulture Building. This display was in addition to the display in the FFA Pavilion and was available to a different set of state fair attendees. It included AgrAbility publications, a viewing of the It's About Hope video, and veteran resources.
Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, made a presentation to the North Montgomery Ag Mechanics class at North Montgomery High School. The presentation included information about AgrAbility, the Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest, and products and modification for various disabilities and impairments they might encounter on the farm. There were many questions asked and much information shared.
Submitted by Steve Swain
Chuck Baldwin, Breaking New Ground/Indiana AgrAbility project manager, attended the Indiana Amish Handicap [sic] Gathering held outside of Saint Joe, IN, August 25. More than 150 Amish were in attendance, all of them impacted personally or familially by disability. Chuck was invited to share the vision of AgrAbility, the possibilities AgrAbility has to make a difference in the Amish community when it comes to operating a farm where disability plays a role, and the importance of farm safety and avoidance of secondary injuries when faced with disability in the agricultural setting.
The purpose of the gathering was mutual encouragement to continue living in hope and gratitude for what they believe God has allowed in their lives and to learn to better cope with the challenges they face as a result of their disabilities.
As with most such Amish gatherings, much could be said of the appreciation for life expressed between members of this community as they shared their pain and their progress. An abundance of food was shared at the common meal, and time to meditate on lessons learned was given for any who cared to wander the woodland trails or to meander along the sizeable pond belonging to the acreage where the gathering was held. Both the trails and the pond were completely accessible for those in wheelchairs or needing assistance.
During his time there, Chuck was treated to the experience (and explanation) of something he had never seen before in the way of Amish technology: a horse-powered (literally) treadmill that served to crank five gallons at a time of home-made (or perhaps it should be called "horse-made") ice cream! The result, after an hour of walking the treadmill for the horse, was 10 gallons of sinfully delicious frozen dessert - five gallons of raspberry and five gallons of vanilla!
Danyele Clingan,OTD, OTR, AgrAbility staff, and Kelsey Meyers, Purdue Extension - Henry County, co-taught the Mental Health First Aid course August 29th to 24 participants at Caldwell Acres outside of Rushville, IN. Chuck Baldwin, also with AgrAbility, participated as a learner.
Mental Health First Aid courses being offered by Purdue Extension are an eight-hour, one-day training to teach participants how to help someone who has a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. According to the Purdue Extension/opioids website, "If you work with or in the agriculture industry, this may be a valuable course to attend. The agriculture industry can be very stressful with possible on-the-farm injuries, large loans for land and equipment, and volatile pricing. These circumstances [can] lead to high rates of stress and leave individuals looking for ways to cope, which puts a strain on their mental health and overall well-being, as well as that of their families." For further information on where a person can attend one of these courses or request to bring a course to their community, see the Purdue Extension website at: https://extension.purdue.edu/opioids/. To learn more about Mental Health First Aid and discover additional courses offered outside of Indiana, please visit the Mental Health First Aid website at: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/.
Submitted by Chuck Baldwin and Danyele Clingan, OTD, OTR