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September 2018

National AgrAbility Project News

The AgrAbility National Training Workshop will take place in Lincoln, NE, March 25-28, 2019, at the Embassy Suites-Downtown Lincoln. The request for proposals and request for posters have been sent out and is due back to Tess McKeel by October 15th. More

Upcoming AgrAbility Regional EventsHot air balloon above cityscape Albuquerque, NM

Check for information on these and other events.

AgrAbility Webinar: "New and Improved Methods of Accessing Large Off-Road Machinery for People with Mobility Limitations," Thursday, October 11, 3:00 p.m. ET. Look for registration information coming soon on the listserv.

Cover image of Plowshares techical article on machinery lifts
Plowshares Technical Report: "Agricultural Machinery Access Lifts: Design, Utilization, and Safety Issues," is now available at A mailing is scheduled to go out soon with printed copies of the latest editions of the Plowshares reports to gauge the level of interest in ordering printed copies

The NAP has updated its web page on mental/behavioral health issues at If you suggestions forCover image of Back on the Farm booklet additional resources to be added to this page, please contact Paul Jones.

The NAP is reprinting BACK on the Farm, BACK in the Saddle: A Guide to Back Health in Agriculture. If your organization would like to order copies at the pre-printing cost of $0.37 each plus shipping (minimum 100), please contact Paul Jones by Friday, September 21.

In August, JoBeth Rath and Tess McKeel staffed a booth, in conjunction with ABVI, at the Empire Farm Days located in Seneca Falls, NY. More

The National AgrAbility Project staffed a display in the Health and Safety Tent at the 2018 Farm Progress Show at Boone, Iowa. More

Image of Hyndsignt camera on monitorToolbox Spotlight: The rechargeable battery-powered Hyndsight Portable/Wireless Rear-Vision System is designed for use on any equipment or vehicle (e.g., tractor, combine, trailing implement, truck, UTV), in the barn, or various other places where rearward visibility would help prevent collisions and provide safety monitoring.

State and Regional AgrAbility Project News

Durst Organic GrowersCalifornia

California AgrAbility joined Dignity Health's Health Fair to bring resources to Durst Organic Growers. More

California AgrAbility staff joined NAP's Peer Support for People with Disabilities in Rural and Agricultural Communities webinar. More

Use insect repellant advertisementStaff attended the Public Health Sciences Practicum Symposium and learned about the California Department of Public Health's insect repellent campaign. More

California AgrAbility sent out another Quarterly, updating agencies, consumers, and constituents on events in which staff participated. More


The Colorado AgrAbility Project has been gearing up for their annual Winter Workshops. More

This fall will be busy for CO AgrAbility. They have a doctoral OT intern doing his level one community experience with them. More

Candy is hard at work getting ready to attend the APRIL conference as well as a USDA Conservation conference. She will be a presenter at both conferences. More


Staff partnered with the University of Georgia Business Law Clinic to provide assistance for Georgia AgrAbility clients that may need legal advice in setting up a new business. MoreGA AgrAbility at Hay Day

Staff attended the August Hay Day on the 29th hosted by the Rebeccas and Myrtice at PVA summitUniversity of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices in Lamar and Upson counties. More

Staff were invited to present a session August 29th at the Paralyzed Veterans of America Healthcare Summit and Expo held in Dallas, Texas. More


The AgrAbility Illinois staff members have actively worked over the prior months to prepare for their participation in the Illinois State Fair in August. More

Kelly Gagnon, the AgrAbility IL communications coordinator, also attended the IL Rural Health Conference. More

Micahel Halpin familyMichael Halpin, an Illinois farmer and AgrAbility Unlimited client, was featured in the local ACES magazine telling his story about the injury he sustained while working on his family farm, his recovery process, and the support that AgrAbility Unlimited was able to provide him thus far on his journey. More

In the continuation of AgrAbility Unlimited's 2018 marketing plan, an "Ambassador of the Month" program was implemented to recognize the organization's most supportive volunteers. More


Indiana AgrAbility staffed a display in the Indiana FFA Pavilion at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis August 3 through 19. More

On Farmer's Day at the Indiana State Fair, Indiana AgrAbility presented a display in the Purdue Extension/Horticulture Building. More

Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, made a presentation to the North Montgomery Ag Mechanics class at North Montgomery High School. More

Linda Tarr worked six days at the Indiana State Fair. It was hot, but very busy. She also took flyers to the Springville Feeder Auction and had a booth at the RHI Brain Injury regional conference.

Horse on treadmillChuck 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. MoreDr. Danyele Clingan and Chuck Baldwin

Dr. Danyele Clingan, 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. More


A very busy August has come and gone. September looks to be off with a challenging schedule also. August 7th, Mike Lewis attended a suicide prevention workshop addressing stress and signs of depression.

Maryfrances Gross, certified driver rehab specialist, attended the ADED Conference in Richmond, VA, August 10 - 14. She hosted the KY AgrAbility exhibit while attending the conference.

Stuart Home workers with raised bedKY AgrAbility participated in the Third Thursday event at the KSU Research Farm in Frankfort. More

The following week, the 9th Annual KY Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network Conference was held at Eastern KY University in Richmond, KY. More

KY AgrAbility staff at KY State FairImmediately following the KARRN conference, the KY AgrAbility staff left for the KY State Fair in Louisville, KY, where they assisted the KY Department of Agriculture Safety team with the roll-over tractor demonstration. More

Staff then traveled west to Owensboro, KY, and the KY Rehabilitation Association Conference. The AgrAbility exhibit was manned by Mike Lewis and Linda Bokros. More

A Labor Day break was greatly appreciated but it is back to work in September. The first week will find the staff following up with the raised bed gardens at the Beacon Apartments south of Lexington. More

KY AgrAbility is proud to announce that it will be hosting a Farmer Veteran Coalition Stakeholders meeting on October 15th at the KSU Research Farm in Frankfort, KY.

The KY Congress on Spinal Cord Injury will be held September 21 in Lexington. KY AgrAbility has been a supporter of this group since it began and will once again be attending. Several AgrAbility clients will be there as speakers and participants.

As the year heads toward fall, staff will be working with current clients, visiting with previous clients, and helping new referrals find a way to stay productive on the farm and achieve a quality of life that contributes to their mental wellness. More


Ellen Gibson of Goodwill Northern New England talked with the Maine Cheese Guild at their monthly meeting in Jonesboro on August 6th about the new self-assessment tool for cheese makers. More

Maine AgrAbility exhibited at the Foothills Food Festival in Norway, Maine, on August 11th, sharing AgrAbility information and resources with farmers and public interested in Maine agriculture.

Project staff also exhibited at Maine Farm Days in Clinton, Maine, August 22-23. The display focused on back health and aging farmers.

Project Director Richard Brzozowski spoke at the University of Maine Systems Aging Initiative Workshop on August 24th in Belfast, making a short presentation to 150 people about current research and programming... More

During the NAP all-staff webinar on August 29th, Project Coordinator Lani Carlson presented Maine AgrAbility's work with Vocational Rehabilitation counselors and workforce employment specialists and their collaborative effort to identify possible employment opportunities for transition aged youth on farms.


Michigan AgrAbility was pleased to assist Chris to continue to do what he loves to do... farm! Chris was born with spina bifida, which has led to other complications including making it difficult for Chris to work on the farm. More

Ned Stoller teaching H2H groupHeroes to Hives is a program through Michigan State University Extension that seeks to address financial and personal wellness of veterans through professional training and community development centered around beekeeping. More

Ned Stoller and Jeff BrowneThe Michigan AgrAbility program helped install a new spring-loaded gate on the farm of Jeff and Jo Browne, livestock farmers in Menominee County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. More

Michigan AgrAbility promoted the August 2018 USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Commodity Procurement Program interactive webinars on the Michigan AgrAbility Facebook page. More

Duane Bordine, one of Michigan AgrAbility's clients and the cover photo on some of Michigan AgrAbility's brochures, lost his home and a nearby greenhouse in a fire. More


Missouri AgrAbility displayed at the 2018 Missouri State Fair, August 9 -19. More

Veterans at MO AgrAbility seminarTwenty-five veterans, socially disadvantaged, minority, and beginning farmers and ranchers with disabilities, participated in a three-hour Missouri AgrAbility seminar. More

Missouri Assistive Technology is offering a free Fresh Start Program for credit and debt management to Missouri AgrAbility farmers and ranchers with disabilities. More

Blaine Kemna, Missouri AgrAbility Barn Builder and former MO AgrAbility customer, is featured on page 4 of CONNECTIONS: Creating a better future through brain injury prevention, support, education and advocacy, fall 2018 BIA-MO Newsletter. More

Missouri AgrAbility will sponsor Rural Track at the Brain Injury Association of Missouri's 14th Annual Statewide Professional Development conference October 4 - 6, 2018, in Chesterfield, MO. More

Pharm to farm and UMKC School of Pharmacy staff at MO State FairPharm to Farm and UMKC School of Pharmacy, collaborative partner of Missouri AgrAbility, provided farmers and farm families at the Missouri State Fair with rural wellness screenings and safety information. More

UMKC School of Pharmacy and Pharm to Farm developed an educational guide sheet titled: Better Sleep for the Farmer Stuck Counting Sheep, for the Farm & Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice (CoP).

Nahshon Bishop and Susan Jaster, Lincoln University and MO AgrAbility, at MO State FairLincoln University had an educational booth highlighting AgrAbility at the Missouri State Fair. More

Susan Jaster visited with a private company located in Sedalia, Missouri called Retrieving Freedom Inc. that trains Labrador Retrievers to work with children, veterans, and Type 1 diabetes patients.

Jessup WagonLincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP), in collaboration with the Webb City Farmers' Market, held an educational field day highlighting the Jessup Wagon 2.0 to area farmers. More

The Missouri AgrAbility Project was highlighted at the St. Louis VA Summit and the Missouri Rural Health Conference with exhibits hosted by Brain Injury Association of Missouri staff. More


Emily and Dr. Temple GrandinTwo staff members attended Dr. Temple Grandin's program in Kearney titled "Animals Make us Human". This was in connection with the Kids & Dreams Autism Conference held there. More

A Emily at NE State Fairmonthly veteran's meeting takes place in Norfolk, NE, with AgrAbility staff attending regularly. One of the biggest concerns for the area is the number of homeless veterans.

Emily presented the Nebraska AgrAbility Project at Nebraska State Fair. More

North Carolina

NC AgrAbility peer farmer luncheonNC Agromedicine Institute and NC AgrAbility organized the NC AgrAbility Peer Farmer Luncheon on August 22 in Statesville, NC. MoreNC AgrAbility at Specialty Crops Production workshop

NC AgrAbility attended the Specialty Crops Production Workshop on August 29 - 30, in Boone, NC, and also exhibited the NC AgrAbility display. More


OH AgrAbility Peer to Peer groupOhio AgrAbility has been very busy with outreach and education this summer. In early August OAP held the annual Peer to Peer Summer Meeting. More

OAP staff attended the annual Ohio Rural Health Conference and made connections with professionals from rural health, rural transportation and mobility, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and several Ohio colleges with programs focused on rural health. More

OAP staff presented on AgrAbility and farming with arthritis at the Morrow County Agronomy Field Day. More

OAP staff attended the Amish Health and Safety Day and exhibited OAP resources for gardening and farming with a disability. More

The OAP staff is finishing preparations for the 2018 Farm Science Review. More

PennsylvaniaAbbie Spackman, Kindra Martin, and Dr. Connie Baggett at Ag Progress Days

AgrAbility PA exhibited at Penn State University's annual Ag Progress Days event in August. This event is the Super Bowl equivalent for not only Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences... More

Abbie Spackman's dairy talk at the Ag Progress DaysAgrAbility PA Project Assistant Abbie Spackman reviewed some of the factors related to stress and methods to cope with it at the Center for Dairy Excellence Breakfast during the event and The Delmarva Farmer spoke with her about it. MoreLegislative panel discussion at Ag Progress Days

AgrAbility staff member Kendra Martin attended a legislative panel discussion at the event. Congressional representatives were on hand to discuss local, state, and national agricultural issues and answer questions. U.S. Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson (serving the 5th district in Pennsylvania) was on the panel and has been a supporter of the Farm Bill. More


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. More

TNAP participated in the Hops Symposium at UT to learn what resources are available in Tennessee and nationwide for AgrAbility customers. More

TNAP is always telling folks about AgrAbility and for the first time received a new referral from a local school. More

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. More

Staff participated in all-staff call. TNAP appreciates all the updates and the new programs shared.

VermontVermont Veterans Homestead Series flyer

Vermont AgrAbility is proud to be a supporter and provider to the Farmer Veteran Coalition Vermont Chapter. The Homegrown By Heroes program is well received by Vermonters at farms, farm stands, farmers markets etc. More


This August, AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff attended and presented at the second MOSES Organic's In Her Boots session. More

AgrAbility of Wisconsin hosted two Neighbor-to-Neighbor meetings at past client's farms in August. More

AgrAbility in the News

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Other News

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Upcoming Events

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Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,