Tennessee AgrAbility (TNAP) promoted at four regional beginning-farmer classes across the state: Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) Training, Grass Fed Workshop, and GC Master Beef workshop. TNAP shared success story with Central Region Agricultural and Natural Resources/UT Extension Annual Planning Meeting about all the partners it takes to help a farmer with a disability get back to farming and the referral process.
TNAP participated in the Hops Symposium at UT to learn what resources are available in Tennessee and nationwide for AgrAbility customers. There is much interest in TN to grow hops (specialty crop by craft brewers) and several of TNAP's beginning farmers with disabilities are interested in exploring it.
TNAP is always telling folks about AgrAbility and for the first time received a new referral from a local school. When picking up from cross country practice, a parent asked what AgrAbility does for farmers with disabilities and whether AgrAbility drives to the middle of the state. YES, we do!
TNAP made a new client visit in Bedford County to a man who is a cattle farmer with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and is legally blind. He is also the caregiver for his father, who has dementia and Parkinson's disease. He is old-school with record keeping systems and was referred to the UT MANAGE program to help with his business plan to show a viable business with a financial plan and cash flow projections. TNAP referred him to Vocational Rehabilitation to see if he is eligible to get help to pay for needed assistive technology, such as smart devices to help him "see" with apps. He is also looking into options for a digital wand to help with tagging/identifying cattle. Please let TNAP know if you have a farmer in your state with RP so that connections can be made to encourage him and to share ideas to make his life easier!
Submitted by Tennessee AgrAbility