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July 2019

National AgrAbility Project

The NAP has produced a new promotional video, AgrAbility: Renewing Hope, Restoring Productivity with Eric Beckman. SRAPs can link to it on YouTube or download electronic versions on the extranet.

The video is available for download in MP4 and WMV formats with open captioning and without captioning on the NAP extranet at extranet/marketing/. If you want to link to a YouTube version, please use The NAP plans to produce a limited number of DVDs (e.g., for those who use DVD players at farm shows) and has tentative plans to produce some flash drives that include several of our recent videos. Contact Paul Jones if you would be interested in possible DVDs or flash drives.

The NAP has posted the video on our Facebook @nationalagrability and Twitter @NatlAgrAbility accounts, so please like and share those posts.

Submitted by: Paul Jones

Bill Field was honored with the Maynard Coe Professional Achievement Award at the ISASH 2019 Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The award recognizes the important role played by Maynard Coe in the early years of the organization. Coe served as director of the Farm Division of theĀ  National Safety Council for 20 years. Criteria for the award include but are not limited to:

  1. Demonstrated achievements in the practice of agricultural safety and health over a period of several years.
  2. Achievements may be in the realm of research, outreach/extension, administration, resident education or some combination.
  3. Achievements may involve state, national or international efforts or some combination.
  4. Achievements may be in the fields of safety, public health, risk management, emergency services, loss control, ergonomics, or other like disciplines within the broad field of agricultural safety and health.

Submitted by: Paul Jones

Chuck Baldwin, NAP underserved populations coordinator, attended the national Amish Handicap Gathering (their name for it) and staffed an AgrAbility booth there in Dayton, Virginia, June 7-8. The gathering was a group of 980 primarily Amish and Plain Mennonite from many different states, all of them impacted by disability. Two chartered busloads of Amish were there from northern Indiana. The event was held at the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Friday afternoon was check-in with a supper at 4:30. Saturday's gathering began about 8:30 and ran until 4:30 in the afternoon. Fellowship and visiting on a personal level were the order of the day, as individuals and families shared encouragement with each other and recounted what was working in their lives that helped them overcome their disabilities and sometimes what wasn't working as they sought help. Amish and Mennonites listening to the Mennonite youth choirOne special highlight prior to closing was the Mennonite youth choir of about 100 young people who sang hymns acapella for an hour. They were followed by several smaller groups of Amish/Mennonite musicians, including a yodeling quartet singing several fun songs. Some personal testimonies of God's grace in difficult circumstances were shared with the group, as were words of scripture and personal encouragement during announcement times throughout the day.

Due to the early work with the Amish farming communities in Indiana many years ago by Dr. Bill Field, PI for both the National and Indiana AgrAbility Projects, and Purdue Extension personnel like Steve Engleking, the ongoing efforts of AgrAbility today among these agricultural Anabaptists find an increasingly open reception to working mutually toward ag safety and the enablement of continuing farm work for those who struggle with disability. This was evident in the warm reception Chuck received from the leaders of the Handicap Gathering in VA, the invitation to AgrAbility to participate again in next year's 2020 Gathering in Shipshewana, IN, and the hand-written note Chuck received from one Mennonite gentleman requesting help from AgrAbility for a friend of his who needed a tractor lift. Chuck passed that note along to Bill Begley with Life Essentials in Wolcott, IN, and true-to-form, Life Essentials contacted the potential client the very next morning and is continuing to work to meet his needs today.

Submitted by Chuck Baldwin