AgrAbility eNote banner
July 2019


AgrAbility regional workshop save the date cardSave The Date! AgrAbility Regional Workshop
Oct. 8-9, 2019
Days Inn Penn State | State College, PA

The AgrAbility PA team is excited to announce that they will be hosting a regional workshop in conjunction with the National AgrAbility Project in STATE COLLEGE, PA!

This two-day workshop is a great opportunity to learn more about occupational therapy and assistive technology on the farm - working together to keep farmers farming! The first day will include sessions and a farmer panel, and the second day will include farm tours of AgrAbility PA-connected farms and farmers.

In addition to those who are interested in assisting farmers with a disability or long-term health condition, this workshop would be helpful to:

Workshop Goals: Educate attendees about the unique challenges that farmers with disabilities and long-term health conditions face and how occupational therapy and assistive technology are used.

The team hopes you will consider joining them! Registration and reservation information to follow. Options will be available to attend one or both days. Stay tuned! Also visit

Abbie Spackman speaking at the PA state capitol buildingAgrAbility PA joined the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) at their annual press conference at the state capitol building in Harrisburg.

During the press conference, AgrAbility PA shared a story about a farmer named Ed who obtained a loan through PATF. In 2016, Ed began working with AgrAbility as his health conditions were greatly impacting his ability to stay active on his sheep farm. After a farm assessment, evaluation, and assistance from PA's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Ed was able to acquire a utility vehicle for mobility and various farm tasks. Last year, Ed became concerned about removing snow from his driveway and farm property. AgrAbility PA connected him to PATF for a loan. He was able to purchase a snow blower attachment for his utility vehicle and now is able to independently remove snow on his farm.

"Ed's story is one example of how a partnership between organizations supporting people with disabilities can result in a person - an individual - having freedom, independence, and dignity in their livelihood and at home," said Abbie Spackman, project assistant and case coordinator for AgrAbility PA.

Read more here.

Dr.  Connie Baggett and the Pequea Valley FFA award winnerAgrAbility PA named Pequea Valley FFA and Grassland FFA as winners in the 2019 AgrAbility PA Contest.

The contest provides an opportunity for any Pennsylvania FFA Association chapter to make a positive impact by enhancing independence or promoting success for farmers and their families with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Grassland FFA award winnersTwo students with Pequea Valley FFA won for their development of an app-based feeder as an assistive technology model. Students with Grassland FFA won for their service project at Saddle Creek Farm. Each chapter will receive a $400 award.

Students were recognized on June 11 during Pennsylvania FFA's 90th State Convention & Activities Week at Penn State.

Read more here.

Missouri and Pennsylvania AgrAbility Projects teamed up to present three posters at the 2019 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. "The AgrAbility Program assists Missouri and Pennsylvania Diverse Farm and Ranch Populations Realize Self-Employment Opportunities in Agriculture" poster highlighted outreach activities to diverse farm populations including Anabaptist, Spanish-speaking, veterans, women, and Hmong. The other two posters highlighted the collaboration and on-going development of resources for women through AgrAbility, the Ag Safety and Health eXtension Community of Practice, and Women in Ag Learning Network.

Submitted by Kendra Martin