It's fair to say that many staff saw things playing out much differently when March first began. AgrAbility PA staff members were set to attend the NTW, to present at outreach events, and were looking forward to spring's arrival. A lot has changed - but the collective wish of the AgrAbility PA team is that everyone is staying safe and healthy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. If there's ever a time to rely on family, friends, or colleagues for support (albeit socially distant support), now's the time!
Gratefully, the AgrAbility PA team is overcoming these challenging times and team members are still fulfilling the commitment to provide services and support to farmers and ag workers with disabilities and health conditions. The team is adhering to governmental and organizational regulations and guidelines, both from Penn State Extension and UCP Central PA. This has required some creative thinking and outside-the-box arrangements when it comes to providing client services, but things are going well. AgrAbility PA team members are healthy, working remotely, and looking forward to in-person networking with AgrAbility colleagues in the future!
In early March, Abbie Spackman provided an interactive presentation to more than 50 4-H members and families about AgrAbility. Abbie used the 4-H Pledge as a way to connect to what AgrAbility does. She shared her experience in 4-H and how it has helped her personally and professionally in life.
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
The month ended with a hopeful story. "If more people, like the high school students with the Tyrone FFA chapter, experienced a day in someone else's shoes," says a farmer with a disability, "compassion for one another would surely rise."
In consultation with staff from AgrAbility PA, the students set up an AgrAbility course where they simulated experiencing a vision, hearing, or mobility challenge while trying to complete daily farm tasks. "I learned how difficult it was for farmers to complete daily tasks when they have a disability...I take things for granted and this challenge reminded me of this," said Trinity Lingafelt, a sophomore in high school.
The full article is attached as images. The article only appeared in print.
Submitted by Kendra Martin