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June 2022


2 women on left kneeling as they work on raised-bed garden box on school playground. Man standing on right.On May 13, Ed Sheldon, Indiana Extension Outreach Coordinator, joined Purdue Extension-Benton County staff in renovating raised garden beds at the Oxford, Indiana, Community Wellness Program. The gardens are used for demonstration and educational purposes for children and adults who use the facility. Several of the beds were constructed to be accessible. The effort was led by Veronica Jalomo, Purdue Extension Community Wellness Coordinator and member of the Indiana AgrAbility Advisory Team.

Black male speaker in gray suit & tie speaking to Indiana Black Loam Conference participantsEd Sheldon represented Indiana AgrAbility at the May 14, 2022, Indiana Black Loam Conference held at the historic Madame CJ Walker Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ed presented about AgrAbility's services to underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, distributed AgrAbility resources, and visited with conference participants as they browsed the exhibit area.

AgrAbility display table with AgrAbility banner in background at Black Loam Conference in IndianapolisTo date five Indiana Black Loam Conference programs have been held in urban centers throughout Indiana in 2022: Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Bloomington, and Indianapolis. . These workshops are specifically targeted toward BIPOC and socially disadvantaged farmers, with most participants being from urban areas. The programs are hosted by the Legacy Farming and Health Group, based in Lyles Station, Indiana, and the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, a collaboration of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and Purdue University.

The Indiana Black Loam Conferences have been a great opportunity to share AgrAbility's services with underserved audiences who typically would not participate in programs targeted to "traditional" agricultural producers. AgrAbility has been involved with all five workshops.

Submitted by Ed Sheldon

Table with AgrAbility tablecloth on it & brochures & assistive technology displayed. AgrAbility banner in background with black curtains around boothChuck Baldwin staffed an AgrAbility booth at the disABILITIES Expo in Fort Wayne, IN, Saturday, May 14. This was the first disABILITIES Expo following a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Expo is the region's premier disabilities expo for services and products exclusively for people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities.

Over 110 vendors participated in the Expo, teaching, giving, and selling products to all in attendance. More than 1,000 attendees took in the event. Some good contacts were made, including a contact that showed interest in working with Life Lyfts by Life Essentials.

Submitted by Chuck Baldwin