February 2023
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
NTW Updates

  • Register for the NTW! Click HERE to go to the NTW website where one can find more detailed information. The registration link is on the registration tab.
  • Reserve a hotel room. You can click HERE to go to the Hotel reservation page. One can also go to the hotel tab on the NTW website to find more information and the link to reserve a room. The room block closes on February 21st, so don't miss out.
  • Anyone aware of someone that might like to be an exhibitor or a sponsor? Send them this link for the NTW tab on the NAP website and tell them to click on the Exhibitor or Sponsor tab, or send their contact information to Tess- tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org.
  • Put together a SRAP raffle basket and/or collect auctions items. Both activities help the NAP to bring farmer clients to the NTW. Items can be shipped ahead of time to More

For any questions about the NTW, contact Tess at tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org.

The NAP does not currently have any upcoming regional workshops scheduled but would love to host one with an interested SRAP. If interested, please contact Tess tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org or JoBeth jbrath@goodwillfingerlakes.org for more information.
AgrAbility/North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center webinar: "Let’s Talk about Rural Caregiving and Mental Health: Everyone needs to be included in the conversation," Wednesday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET. More

Join with the AgrAbility Marketing & Media Community of Interest for the AgrAbility monthly Zoom discussion on public awareness issues, including tips on writing and on working with the media, Thursday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The URL was sent via the listserv.
National AgrAbility partner AgriSafe has announced the new AgriStress Response Partnership Campaign. AgriStress Response® is an initiative to increase positive mental health outcomes among individuals in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. More
Toolbox Spotlight
Sometimes, very simple solutions can be very helpful. With this Push Mower Mounted Generator, Robert Boody of Bloomfield, NY, wheels it easily around his property without lifting and carrying. Mounting merely involved bolting the generator's tubular frame onto an old mower's deck.
The Alaska AgrAbility Winter eNewsletter was distributed on January 30th raising awareness for Radon Action and Mental Wellness Months. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/236j53f3.

Assistive Technology of Alaska (ATLA) provided general awareness presentations for The Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman and St. Elias Virtual Hospital.

DeShana York gave a presentation to the membership of the Anchorage Garden Club and increased awareness of the AKAgrAbility project
Through an AARP Community Challenge grant, Art Nash, project PI, installed raised beds at the Palmer Senior Center in Palmer, Alaska, during the summer of 2021. The installation was featured in the recently released edition of Community Gardens for People of All Ages, a free 32-page downloadable PDF tool kit. More

AKAgrAbility was featured at the Alaska Forum on the Environment the week of Feb 6-10 where over 350 attendees from all over the state of Alaska attended at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage.
Tucked away in two small rural areas of Colorado, on its border with New Mexico, are Federal Reservations for the Southern Ute Tribe in Ignacio and the Mountain Ute Tribe outside of Cortez. Through contact initially with the veterans of the tribes, Colorado AgrAbility staff's veteran outreach has opened dialog with the Southern Ute Veterans Association to offer AgrAbility trainings targeted to programs available to underserved populations. More
Florida AgrAbility was in attendance at the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, FL. Lindsey Head and Vanessa Starr Spero shared a booth with Florida 4-H.
As a part of the Center for Independent Living Day at the Capitol, Serap Gorucu, Lindsey Head, and Tony Delisle met with the state legislators and representatives and educated them on the Florida AgrAbility Project in Tallahassee on January 26, 2023.

Florida AgrAbility team members met with John Diaz, president of the Coalition of Florida Extension for Latino Communities (CAFE Latino) to brainstorm about AgrAbility collaborations.
AgrAbility in Georgia staff had a booth at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia, January 5th-8th. More

On January 4th, Georgia AgrAbility had a great time doing a virtual meet and greet with Florida AgrAbility! More

Staff attended the Mental Health Day at the Georgia Capitol which was held on 31 January, 2023 in Atlanta, GA. The event highlighted the importance of promoting a healthier and more resilient Georgia. More

Georgia AgrAbility, in conjunction with the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, is offering QPR (Question Persuade Refer) and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) virtual trainings... More
AgrAbility in Georgia is excited to be part the new agrileadHER virtual community. Women in agriculture from all states are welcome to join. Members have access to exclusive webinars and events and can connect with each other through chats and posts. More
Mid-January is the regular time for the Fort Wayne Farm Show in the War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The three-day show is attended by over 35,000 visitors and has over 1,000 exhibitors, of which Indiana AgrAbility was one. More
January is also the time for the Indiana Horticulture Congress. This year the conference was held at the Beck Agricultural Center on the grounds of the Purdue University Agronomy Center for Research and Education. More

Bill Field and Paul Jones joined with consultant Ed Bell and staff from Life Essentials for a presentation on accessible agriculture for the AgrIInstitute Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP) on January 12. ALP involves a series of seminars that are designed to seed knowledge and advance the capacity of agricultural leadership.
AgrAbility staff participated in the 2023 Maine Agricultural Trade Show in Augusta, Maine, January 10-12. Using "Pain" as this year's theme, staff had 160 conversations and 19 client contact requests. More
Boots-2-Bushels received a $50k grant from the Extension Risk Management Education program for the period 4/22 - 9/24. More

As part of Maine AgrAbility's outreach to Maine's fishermen, staff published another post highlighting dynamic stretching for fishermen. Staff is developing a boat-friendly waterproof poster that captures the series of published stretches.
The Michigan AgrAbility staff is continuing to work with their farmers throughout the winter season and is currently helping a farmer determine a safer solution for getting into a tractor than a step ladder - something which recently resulted in a weeklong hospitalization due to injuries from a fall.
Missouri AgrAbility recently had a young man with a concussion join 4-H specifically to be involved in the 4-H Save Your Brain program. He is going to be leading programmatic efforts in Naylor, MO. He is specifically interested in ATV/UTV safety.

Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on program promotion, opportunities and resources for farmers, and health, safety, and wellness tips. More
Missouri AgrAbility was involved at three in-person conferences this month. Staff members provided education-based presentations, shared resources and information about preventing secondary injuries, facilitated hands-on demonstrations, More

Missouri AgrAbility staff continued to plan an Armed to Farm Conference. More
Lincoln University Innovative Small Farmer's Program Outreach (ISFOP) Workers Angela Brattin, Mary Bolling, and Demetrius Moore joined the University of Missouri Extension's Karen Funkenbusch at AgConnect, More

Susan Jaster, ISFOP and outreach coordinator for Missouri AgrAbility, collaborated with MU Extension's Kathy Dothage, co-director, Missouri Farm and Ranch Stress Program to present "Stress on the Farm" at the Missouri Dairy Expo... More

Maureen Cunningham, Brain Injury Association of Missouri executive director and Missouri AgrAbility co-PI, participated in networking opportunities to establish and strengthen awareness and utilization of Missouri AgrAbility. More
In January, the Nebraska AgrAbility team met in Kearney, Nebraska, to share resources and plan FY2023. At the meeting, Aaron Yoder set up a Teams channel to facilitate communications and resource sharing. More

Emily Jacobson reports that Nebraska AgrAbility is in the process of signing a contract to work with an OTD student from the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, beginning January 2024. More
Nebraska AgrAbility, through Easterseals Nebraska, is looking for a professional who has the ability to provide comprehensive education and rehabilitation technology services to Nebraska farmers and ranchers with disabilities. More
New Mexico
Equipment that will support food producers has been acquired by the NM Technology Assistance Program (NMTAP), and is already being requested by community members.

NMTAP will host a UNM OT service-learning student.

NMTAP had a table at Disability Awareness Day at the NM Capital on February 8 to highlight New Mexico AgrAbility Project (NMAP) services available for farmers.

Mandy's Farm, NMAP nonprofit partner, has installed an improved ADA toilet facility for use by employees and seven agricultural apprentices (2-3 days/week in February).

The group of apprentice food growers with disabilities will go to the NM Roundhouse (capital building) on February 8 for Disability Awareness Day.

A local restaurant (M'Tucci's restaurant in Albuquerque) has requested certain crops for seasonal specials to be grown by the agricultural apprentices.

UNM will provide three service-learning occupational therapy students to Mandy's Farm and to NM Technology Assistance Program in order to improve training of rehabilitation professionals while drawing positive attention to student projects and the NMAP. More

February 16th is Ag-fest in Santa Fe to coincide with the NM legislative session). NM Dairy Extension will have NMAP materials available to make the community aware of NMAP services available for food growers.

One prospective farm site evaluation fell through, but a training has been developed for OTs and PTs for CEU hours to inform the rehab professionals of nationally and locally available services to support agricultural workers. Upon state approval, the continuing education opportunity will be offered online to rural NM locations.
North Carolina
NC AgrAbility staff attended the Berry Berry Extraordinary Workshop January 20 in Whitsett, NC, provided by the Peacehaven Community Farm, which connects people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to the larger community... More

January 10, NC AgrAbility staff went on a farm visit to Dudley, NC, with several of the regional support programs that a farmer is working with: Black Family Land Trust, RAFI, and veteran representatives. More

NC AgrAbility and Benevolence Farm staff met January 25 to explore partnership opportunities. This farm trains formerly incarcerated women in agricultural production and micro-entrepreneurship. They serve an average of 12 women a year.
Ohio AgrAbility enjoys a collaborative relationship with assistive technology (AT) vendors. Some of the best days for Ohio AgrAbility staff are equipment delivery days - More
Hal is a farmer in northwest Ohio. He and his wife operate Hopes Blessings, LLC, a therapeutic horse farm. Hal is paralyzed and was limited in what he was able to do on the farm. Ohio AgrAbility staff worked with Hal and OOD to complete a farm assessment and advocated for AT to keep Hal farming. More
It's January, and in Pennsylvania that means INDOOR FARM SHOWS! AgrAbility PA staff presented and exhibited at two farm shows taking place the same week in January.

Kendra Martin delivered a presentation to attendees at the 107th Pennsylvania Farm Show. Kendra shared a 30-minute session on AgrAbility and how it assists Pennsylvania farmers. More
Abbie Spackman and Linda Fetzer staffed an interactive exhibit at the Keystone Farm Show. This three-day show is one of the largest commercial farm equipment trade shows in the area. More

Abbie Spackman and Linda Fetzer provided an educational session at the Messick's Open House event. More
South Carolina
The staff from Clemson met with their partner, Able SC, to discuss upcoming projects they have planned for the residents of South Carolina. More

Staff members are also working with students in the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Clemson University on capstone projects. More
TN AgrAbility began 2023 partnering with the Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN to exhibit and network at the TN Cattlemen's Association Winter Meeting, "New Year, New Ideas." More

The STAR Center, TN AgrAbility's non-profit partner, has a commitment to helping people with disabilities, like Alzheimer's, reach their full potential. More

TN AgrAbility participated in the informational Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN funding webinar. More
TN AgrAbility exhibited at the Tennessee Grain & Soybean Producers Conferences. More

UT Gardens, FrontLine Gardens, and TN AgrAbility held their first monthly lunch and learn session in January. More

TN AgrAbility presented at the first session of the 2023 Master Farm Family and Health Wellness Program during January. More
Texas AgrAbility hosted a lunch & learn webinar, "Funding for Agricultural Assistive Technology," in partnership with Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation. More

BattleGround to Breaking Ground (BGBG) hosted a five-day agriculture training bootcamp. More

Battleground to Breaking Ground graduated six participants as well as six certified BGBG mentors in January. The mentors and graduates were part of a panel for incoming BGBG participants.

Farmer Veteran Coalition CEO Jeanette Lombardo joined BattleGround to Breaking Ground and Texas AgrAbility at the graduation event to present $1,000 stipends to program graduates. The stipends can be used to support expanding their agriculture operation.

Texas AgrAbility staff conducted a farm assessment for a long-time AgrAbility partner on his grass-fed beef, poultry, and specialty crops operation. This assessment was also utilized to train new staff and partners on the farm and ranch assessment process.
The Texas AgrAbility Peer Group is highlighted as the February lunch & learn session and will have its first group meeting on March 1st.

Texas AgrAbility hosted a quarterly advisory committee meeting where stakeholders, partners, and clients met to provide feedback and direction for upcoming initiatives. Members were connected with resources related to mental health support for farmers and ranchers.
The AgrAbility of Utah staff was excited to set up a display booth at the first ever Utah Hay and Forage Symposium at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George, UT, on Jan. 26th and 27th. More

On Jan. 23, AgrAbility of Utah staff attended and presented at the Cache Interagency Council in Logan, UT.
The Virginia AgrAbility team continues to engage with community members in a variety of ways. More
Staff also exhibited at the Virginia Farm Show in Fishersville alongside AgriSafe Network and East Coast Trackchairs to share resources available from all three organizations related to farming with a disability or health challenge.

The Virginia Forage Growers Conference was held in multiple locations throughout Virginia. The Virginia AgrAbility team exhibited at the Blackstone and Weyers Cave events.

Perhaps one of the most unique events held this month was a "Farmer Dinner Theater" put on by Virginia Cooperative Extension and AgrAbility Field Agent Jeremy Daubert. More
The Washington AgrAbility co-coordinators are still attending numerous conferences and agricultural gatherings throughout the state and preparing for the AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Spokane, WA, in March.

Debbie attended the Cherry Institute Conference in Yakima, WA, and exhibited for over 400 attendees for both AgrAbility and farm stress. She also scheduled a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training for their work source team.

Deb, Debbie, Don, and Curt Johnson attended the WSU (Washington State University) Winter School/Country Living Expo in Stanwood, WA, along with 1000 attendees. Curt taught two classes about AgrAbility and assistive technology, and Deb and Debbie exhibited and left with 35 potential clients for AgrAbility.

Debbie attended the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Conference in Portland, Oregon, and staffed a display for over 400 attendees on AgrAbility and farm stress.

Emily attended the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals conference and exhibited for AgrAbility. She displayed various AT items, and the booth drew much attention from attendees (both business owners and employees).

Emily attended the Northwest Agricultural Show in Salem, OR, where she networked with Washington companies and learned about new assistive technology.

Alyssa attended the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Conference in Kennewick, WA, where she staffed a booth for AgrAbility and farm stress for over 250 attendees.

Alyssa attended the Hay Growers Conference in Kennewick, WA, and exhibited for over 400 attendees on AgrAbility and farm stress.

Alyssa also attended and exhibited at two WSU Dryland Wheat Producers yearly meetings in both Ritzville and Davenport, WA. There were around 100 attendees at each event.

Don and Alyssa staffed a display at the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, WA, with over 1500 attendees for AgrAbility and Farm Stress.

Debbie has two new clients who are ready for home visits. Deb just concluded working with two clients and is getting ready for several new clients. Emily and Alyssa are pursuing some potential clients as well.
AgrAbility for Africa
The AgrAbility for Africa staff are excited about the forthcoming inaugural AgrAbility for Africa workshop that is slated to take place in Uganda June 5-6, 2023. More
Collaborations and partnerships are greatly helping AgrAbility for Africa boost communication and AgrAbility for Africa disability services awareness efforts among the Lake Victoria islands (approximate 84 clusters). More
Cheers to 21 years! Rod Peterson Retires
Rod Peterson has been with Easterseals Nebraska/Nebraska AgrAbility project since 2002, serving as a rural rehabilitation specialist and program manager. His friendly demeanor, commitment to quality service/solutions, and vast knowledge of agricultural operations are just a few of the many traits his clients and colleagues have admired.
Rod and his wife Susan plan to travel and spend time with their children and grandkids, running about from softball and volleyball games to rodeos! Please join us in congratulating Rod on his many achievements and thank him for 21 years of service to Nebraska farmers and ranchers.
North Carolina
Beatriz Rodriguez has been serving as an NC Farmworker Health Program Governing Board member since 2018. This year she is honored to serve as the board chair.
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Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

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