AgrAbility eNote banner
August 2023


Large room with people at long white-draped tablesThe 2023 West Tennessee Beginning Farmers Field Day (WTBFFD) was hosted by TN AgrAbility, Gibson County UT TSU Extension, UT Center of Farm Management, Gibson County Natural Resources Conservation Service, Gibson County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Gibson County Farm Service Agency. The agencies mentioned above, plus STAR Center and Center for Profitable Ag, spoke on various programs that could benefit beginning farmers (farming 10 years or less) and their families. There were 43 beginning farmers present.

TN AgrAbility and FVC-TN staff & clients - 2 men & 2 women - with TN AgrAbility & FVC-TN banners behind themTN AgrAbility partnered with Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN and networked with over 300 cattle farmers at the 2023 TN Cattlemen's Association summer meeting, "Stockmen in the Smokies." TNAP and Dameon Berry, TN AgrAbility farmer veteran, introduced Kate Bowen, with national Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), to some of their TN friends. Kate is currently working remotely for the FVC from Loudon County, TN. FVC is working with Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship covering tuitions and providing stipends through the AgVets grant to qualifying veterans. Contact Kate for more information:

Eileen Legault, TN AgrAbility area specialist, and Egla Delvo-Lopez, UT Extension SAgE coordinator, attended the B.A.R.N.: Farm Dinner Theater Facilitator Training in Lexington, KY. They highly recommend the training and learned new ways to "Bring Awareness Right Now" at the mental health and wellbeing workshop hosted by University of KY and Southern Ag Exchange Network. More plans are being made for future trainings in 2024. Egla was introduced to Dr. Cheryl Witt and Dale Dobson with KY Raising Hope. The staff was reminded that the most important thing on the farm is you. It wouldn't exist without you, so TN AgrAbility encourages you to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Visit for resources for Kentucky's farmers and their families.

Selfie of Charlie Jordon with 5 OT students and fields of flowers in the backgroundCharley Jordan, TN farmer veteran with Jordanfarmstn, spoke to Tennessee State University occupational therapy students about the many programs he and his farm offer to the public, veterans, and soon-to-be veterans. One program mentioned was the KY AgVets Boots to Agriculture Internship. This program is open to transitioning service members at Fort Campbell in their last six months of service. For more information CLICK HERE.

Submitted by Tennessee AgrAbility Project

Staff Changes and Recognition

A woman - Stephanie Brewer Cook - & a man in wheelchairs on stage with the woman holding an award plaque.Congratulations to Stephanie Brewer Cook who partnered with TN AgrAbility in 1995 and continues to promote TN AgrAbility, for receiving a special Lifetime Award from the disABILITY Resource Center at their Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Anniversary Celebration luncheon celebrating 33 years since the act's creation. In addition to serving as the City's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, Stephanie heads the City's Disability Services Office, which coordinates compliance activities throughout the city and provides accommodations for citizens to attend public meetings as well as for city employees. The Lifetime Spirit of ADA Award honored Stephanie for her advocacy and the huge difference she has made in the community for people with disabilities in the last 25 years. She works diligently to make Knoxville a more accessible city for every resident and visitor. TN AgrAbility is proud of her and grateful for her service. Stephanie has referred farmers with disabilities to TN AgrAbility since she learned about the TNAP in 1995.

Stephanie Cook said, "Today, we celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 50th anniversary of Section 504 of the Rehab Act. The Disability Resource Center hosted its annual Spirit of the ADA Awards luncheon and gave inaugural 'Jordan R. Hiles Outstanding Achievement in Advocacy' awards to four individuals who have been advocating for many years in this community for more and better access for and true inclusion of people with disabilities. I am honored and humbled to be a recipient, along with friends such as Sandy Booher, Dr. Laura Payne, and Warren Secrest. DRC Executive Director Katherine Moore surprised us with our selection, but she is an amazing advocate for people with disabilities too. She deserves this kind of award. Honestly, I prefer to give credit for any small thing that I may have helped change to all of those people who came before me, who have taught me, supported me, listened to me rant and rave about some injustice and how it's gotta be fixed, heard me go on and on about using affirmative language when talking about people with disabilities, who have heard me brag just a little when we get a big win...I do nothing alone or in a vacuum. I am blessed to have a circle of support that feels miles sweet husband, my in-laws, my sisters and Mom, my colleagues at the City, the members of City of Knoxville CODI , my right hand Misha Michele Dziubak, and all of the people throughout the city who have included me, asked me for input, pushed back on some wild idea, and have generally given me the space and time to 'move the needle' a bit. I can't name all of those whom I admire or work with or who have mentored me...and I don't have as many pictures of them from today as I would like; but just know that you are part of my circle, and I am happy that you are. Thank you for all you've done and continue to do for me and our city. Tomorrow, we start again. Our work is not yet done."