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August 2022


Group of 11 people - 5 on stage in background & 6 on floor in front of them - all part of TN Workshop planning committeeThe annual LIFE Project/AgrAbility 1890 Land-grant Institution Workshop was held at Tennessee State University's downtown Nashville campus June 7-8. The conference set a new attendance record with 67 participants. It was an exciting workshop that included two different farmer panels - one composed of AgrAbility clients and the other made up of TN New Farmer Academy graduates - two different hands-on assistive technology sessions from Life Essentials and STAR Center, an aquaponics demonstration, and a variety of sessions that included topics on value-added ag opportunities, disaster 2 women at display table for Star Center in background sharing with group of people with backs to camera in foregroundpreparation and insurance, farm stress, and urban agricultural opportunities. The Tennessee chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Farm Credit, USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) all presented. The conference was a huge success and a huge thank you to the conference host Tennessee State University.

Small US flag on wood trailer in back of John Deere tractorTN farmer veteran consultant Charley Jordan shared his story of how he migrates farm stress on his farm operation. Charley stated: "I never realized that going from Army Special Operations to bouquets was the journey I would take. All it took was a failed try at growing tomatoes and a few failed job interviews to set me on this path. As I dove deeper into the world of agriculture, I found the perfect fit for a veteran who still had the desire to serve. Only now instead of occupying the left or right front seat of a MH-47G, I create art and smiles through the simple act of creating a flower arrangement. Since I decided to take on my new venture to be a horticulture therapist, I've realized more than ever that agriculture is definitely a fantastic career path for veterans." Hear more of his story HERE.

TNAP promoted the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on social media. It celebrated how it prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Thank you to the ADA!

TNAP promoted #988 on July 16th. #988 is a universal entry point so that no matter where people live in the U.S., they can easily access, 24/7, emotional support or assistance for someone they know who has a mental crisis. Please continue to share 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected with a trained, caring counselor.

2 men in baseball caps standing in metal shed facing camera with man on left holding RAISING HOPE badge in front of other mans chestTNAP, TN Association of Rescue Squads, and KY Department of Ag came together for PTO and grain bin safety demonstrations at the 32nd Milan No Till Production Crop Field Day. The Raising Hope team was available to shake hands and pass along challenge coins showing attendees they have a friend no matter what. Along with demonstrations, everyone who stopped by the tents enjoyed a cup of ice cream and was given a free neck cooling towel.

2 small red tent canopies with a booth under each - 1 for Star Center & the other for TN AgrAbility with a few people standing out frontThe STAR Center staff roped attendees at the Milan No Till Field Day to show off their muscles using a hand dynamometer. Fifty-seven plus attended the TN Farmer Veteran Picnic in conjunction with the 32nd Milan No Till Crop Production Field Day. After a delicious steak/tenderloin meal, attendees heard from different organizations that may be able to assist with their farm businesses. The Parkers Crossroads Honor Guard posted the colors and gave the story of the 13 Folds; Kellye Cash, 1987 Miss America, sang the National Anthem, and FFA students from local high schools helped with set-up and tear-down. A special thank you to the sponsors for the meal: TN Pork Producers, Farm Credit Mid-America, Farm Space, and TN Cattlemen's Association. Table decorations were donated by TN farmer veteran Charley Jordan.

Group of people with hard-hats on standing at back of green & white ambulanceEast TN hosted its first TN grain bin safety/rescue awareness training for ag producers and rescue personnel with 39 in attendance. TN AgrAbility, UT/TSU Extension, and AgCentral Co-op coordinated the event, while TN Association of Rescue Squads (TARS) provided the instruction. This training was to teach ag producers and rescue personnel their job in case of a grain bin entrapment, to raise awareness about TNAP services, and to promote farm health and safety.

Man on left playfully point air regulator valve at red-haired girl on right with 2 men in backgroundTNAP has partnered with KY Raising Hope to demonstrate how one can start the conversation about mental health. Dale Dobson, KY Department of Agriculture, demonstrated the power of handshake, building trust with farmers, and the Raising Hope challenge coin at the TN Summer Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference and at Milan No Till Crop Production Field Day. He also talked about it on a recent USDA webinar.

Submitted by Tennessee AgrAbility Project