July 2020
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
Join the AgrAbility All-Staff Meeting July 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Current topics include an update from NIFA, initial results from the SRAP COVID-19 survey by Brian French, and an introduction to Tatanka Ki Owetu, the Renewal Pine Ridge AgrAbility Project, South Dakota. Look for details coming soon.

Virtual New Staff Training is available at www.agrability.org/extranet/staff-resources. The most recent additions are:
  • "USDA/NIFA Welcome and Program Overview" from Lelan Dixon, USDA/NIFA
  • "Worksite Assessment Tips and Ideas" from Steve Swain, National AgrAbility Project
The National AgrAbility Project through Goodwill of the Finger Lakes is still moving ahead with the NTW planning.

  • The AgrAbility National Training Workshop is scheduled to take place in Madison, WI, November 30 - December 3, 2020. Staff are currently planning the same schedule as was planned in March, just transferred to the new dates.
  • Davon Goodwin, a farmer, a veteran, and an AgrAbility client from NC, is still planning on being the keynote speaker. Please note that this year's keynote address, banquet dinner, and live auction will be on Tuesday night, rather than Wednesday night.
  • Some exhibitors are not able to come to the rescheduled NTW, so if anyone knows of someone that might want to exhibit or anyone that might want to be a sponsor, please feel free to direct them to contact Tess or JoBeth.
  • As new information becomes available, emails will be sent out and updates will be made to the NTW website.
  • Contact JoBeth or Tess anytime at: - JoBeth Rath - jbrath@goodwillfingerlakes.org 585.402.2059 and Tess McKeel - tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org - 585.447.9015

Richard Brzozowski is leading a working group to catalog existing AgrAbility fact sheets and develop new ones. He requests that each SRAP (and the NAP) enter the fact sheets and publications from its program at https://forms.gle/5YvEK1oVDZRyULAB9 by Friday, July 31. Contact Richard at richard.brzozowski@maine.edu for questions.
The NAP had a record attendance of approximately 250 for the LIFE Project webinar "Roots of the Soil: Land Succession Issues among African American Farm Families" on July 8. The webinar and related materials are archived at www.agrability.org/online-training/archived/webinar-series. Another farm succession webinar is planned for August 26.

AgrAbility continues to receive calls from veterans requesting information about beginning farming, including funding options. If they are from SRAP states, they are referred to the state AgrAbility staff.
Toolbox Spotlight
The BackSaver 3 Straight Auger Mover is designed to enable one person to transport a straight auger (or conveyor) unit to any desired destination by walking next to it and maneuvering the Backsaver's motorized wheel jack. The three-wheeled, 12-volt-battery-powered, remote-controlled BackSaver 3 also serves as a swing hopper mover and a lifter so that the hopper can be transported with the straight auger and maneuvered into position.
In the Land of the Midnight Sun, time is passing quickly with the long days. While Alaska AgrAbility staff are all attempting to navigate during this time of COVID-19, the sun continues to shine currently for close to 18 hours a day. More

With COVID-19 disrupting program delivery, virtual engagements continue where they makes sense. Assistive Technology of Alaska delivered an overview of all of its programs, including the partnership with AgrAbility, at the Full Lives Conference... More

In June, an accessible demonstration gardening area was installed in Bethel, Alaska, for marketing and to be used for programming and outreach. More

The Alaska CES Anchorage office has moved. The Anchorage office where DeShana York is housed relocated July 7-10 and is sharing space with another university department.
California AgrAbility continues to participate in the Mexican Consulate's Health Window Provider Meetings. More
California AgrAbility joined the AgriSafe webinar "Respiratory Fit Testing in Agricultural Communities." There has been an uptake in AgrAbility farmers and farmworkers asking about respiratory exposures and protections due to COVID-19. More

California AgrAbility staff joined part one of three of the Western Growers COVID-19 Webinar Series. The webinar featured Heather Riden from the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Manager. More
The Colorado AgrAbility Project struggled through changing times as staff attempted to re-adjust their focus. As a project whose base service is on-site assessments, they reached out a bit and began more extensive use of technology. More

Colorado AgrAbility is most pleased to announce that the project was permitted to go on the road once again. More
On June 15, Georgia AgrAbility staff met with Georgia Tools for Life, which is the state AT project. Staff discussed various assistive technologies with them that can benefit a farmer with dyslexia. More
Staff participated on June 29 in a working group at the University of Georgia to plan for a statewide virtual viewing of the film "Hearts of Glass." In addition to the virtual viewing, there will be a live virtual question and answer session with the film director and two Vertical Harvest employees. More

On June 23, Georgia AgrAbility hosted a workshop featuring Dr. Therese Willkomm called "Creating Low Cost AT Solutions for Lower Extremities." Dr. Willkomm always has new and innovative items to show the participants!
Farm Corps, a partnership of Illinois organizations (including IL AgrAbility) and agricultural entities, continues working to address the labor gap caused by COVID-19. More

Illinois AgrAbility has published a new ADA-compatible website that provides a more user-friendly experience and easy access to resources for clients and potential clients. Illinois AgrAbility is also collaborating with other state programs in researching potential client management systems to use in the future.
June continued Purdue Extension ag & natural resources Covid-19 updates. More

Client phone calls, VR client vendor quote updates, and the first VR farm accessibility modification assessment since the shutdown in early March were accomplished.
Kansas AgrAbility staff have been busy shooting video and producing voice-overs for the upcoming NAP Virtual State Fair.

KAP AT ag specialists are gearing up to resume site visits. KAP management and staff will decide if areas are relatively safe to visit based on the Johns Hopkins University trend-data by county.

KAP and their partners have been collaborating with the AAAs across the state and the Aging and Disability Resource Center to address the needs of seniors with disabilities who are impacted by Covid19, increased isolation, and access to services.
On June 16, Maine AgrAbility presented the webinar "The Essentials of Accessibility: School and Community Gardens." This presentation discussed planning for school and community gardens for all users including those of all ages and abilities. More

ME AgrAbility has updated its website by adding a video page. This has links to their videos organized by: More

Staff have completed the poster Yoga Stretches for Farmers. This 11"x17" color poster is designed to be hung in barns and farm workspaces to remind people to take care of their bodies.

Boots-2-Bushels practical work experience is continuing this summer. Read about it here: " Boots-2-Bushels Pivots After Start of Pandemic". The program was also featured in the Bangor Daily News and on YouTube video.
Problem Solved! MSU Design Day assists another Michigan AgrAbility client and family! The MSU College of Engineering celebrates the achievements of its students by hosting Design Day at the end of each semester, where student teams exhibit their design projects and compete for awards. More
Problem Solved! Another MSU Design Day project was highlighted on the Michigan AgrAbility Facebook page. In Fall 2019, the design team of Zach Kraut, Danny McGrail, Patrick Floyd, Will Hahm and August Butzke, advised by Ned, developed a low-cost solution for Lou Visser to assist in raising his large overhead door. More
Greg Gieske is blind and has made many of his own accommodations to allow him to continue to farm. Michigan AgrAbility has also provided assistive technology to enable him to farm with less pain - specifically in the area of weed control for his plants. More

With summer's heat comes the chance of overheating! There is a way to cool off (besides not working...LOL). Consider the type of clothing worn... More
Social media update from January - June 2020 (including statistics from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus photos for AgrAbility publications, and a Mental Health Awareness Month toolkit: More

Monday, June 22, Missouri AgrAbility and its partners co-hosted three "Let Your Voices Be Heard Table Talks" and met with AgrAbility Ambassadors via ZOOM. More

Missouri AgrAbility continues to see an increase in new clients requesting information, services, and direct onsite farmstead assessments. Three Missouri AgrAbility and one VR onsite farmstead assessment were facilitated face-to-face and virtually during the month of June.

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) featured the AgrAbility/LIFE Project "Roots of the Soil: Land Succession Issues among African American Farm Families" webinar on its website and social media posts.

The BIA-MO Year 2 Activity Report for the Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP) highlighted the continued success of the Brain Injury Fact of the Day media campaign. More
Nebraska AgrAbility client Kyle Lammers has started his own beef-to-table business, KL Beef. Kyle is doing a fundraiser for both Nebraska AgrAbility and P.H.A.R.M. Dog USA. More
Staff specialists have received personal protective equipment through the Visiting Nurses Association/Easterseals Nebraska, as they prepare to go back out on farm visits in these next few weeks. More

Nebraska's largest (and one of the nation's largest) annual farm and ranch expos of the year, Husker Harvest Days, is canceled for September 2020. They are hoping to create a virtual event instead, and the Nebraska AgrAbility team plans to collaborate with them for this.
A staff member trained in the Michigan State University " Communicating with Farmers under Stress" curriculum offered the first webinar (rather than a live workshop) on June 2, and another will be offered July 15, then potentially monthly going forward. More

Staff have been working to come up with ideas for the National AgrAbility Virtual State Fair!
New Mexico
New Mexico AgrAbility occupational therapy interns are making a big splash in the project. Derek Montoya, Shelby Jones, Sandia Wood, and Sandra Chapman recently received training in tractor safety issues, with machinery courtesy of New Mexico Tractor Supply-John Deere in Belen, New Mexico. More
North Carolina
During the time of COVID-19, NC AgrAbility Partnership has been working in providing resources to farmers through the NCA&T Cooperative Extension programs, NC AgrAbility website, and the NC AgrAbility Facebook page.

NC AgrAbility Partnership holds monthly case management meetings with partners and collaborators discussing the progress of clients and working on moving to virtual farm visits and assessments.

NC AgrAbility Partnership is working on developing a curriculum to train NC Extension agents, starting with the next NC A&T State University faculty and staff meeting in August, and continuing with a series of webinars.

NC AgrAbility continues strengthening the group of collaborators that serve farmers with disabilities across the state.

NC AgrAbility clients have been acquiring recommended assistive technology through the AgVentures grant and the NC AgrAbility cost-share program.
To sustain and grow collaboration between Ohio AgrAbility (OAP) and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD - the state vocational rehabilitation agency), Ohio AgrAbility staff met with several OOD supervisors earlier in the summer to review policies and procedures, vocational assessments, and future training opportunities for OOD and OAP. More
Ohio AgrAbility collaboration with OOD, and how it benefits Ohio farmers, was a popular topic on Ohio AgrAbility's Facebook page in late June. Rachel Jarman, rural rehabilitation coordinator for OAP, posted pictures and a short caption: More
Abbie Spackman worked with NAP to record a session on top tips for new AgrAbility staff members as part of the resources available on the NAP website's extranet. All new staff are encouraged to view the recording and are welcome to contact Abbie ( aes5450@psu.edu) with any questions!
TNAP participated in the Abilities Expo Virtual Experience and learned about new resources to boost independence, received advice from community experts, learned adaptive activities in the virtual events arena, and learned about how to finance big-ticket medical equipment.

TN AgrAbility partner program TN New Farmer Academy introduced Reggie Marshall, farmer and registered nurse. Reggie was in the first cohort of the Tennessee New Farmer Academy and is helping grow food for children's mental health.

TNAP participated in the Online Animal Handling Series webinars on June 3. The videos shown during the sessions can be viewed on the UTHorse YouTube channel to learn safe handling.
Meet Mr. Gutter Gardner (behind the scenes), while he shows you his garden from day one. Mr. Gutter Gardner has a speech impediment and is camera shy. He lets his daughter do all his video talking for him. More

A friendly reminder: the application deadline for 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is July 15. Host one in your town and promote AgrAbility! To apply to host an event in your community, visit the website www.progressiveag.org and click on either the "Apply Now" button or the "Get Involved" tab. More
Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground hosted a virtual agriculture business workshop series June 23 - July 7, 2020. All webinars were recorded and will be posted as part of a virtual workshop module.

BattleGround to Breaking Ground Program applications closed July 13 for the 8th cohort of the program. Applications will be scored and 15 veterans will be chosen to represent the 8th cohort of the program. The program consists of 16 weeks of agriculture business planning education, 100 hours of hands-on mentorship, and production agriculture courses.

Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground met with the project advisory committee to garner direction for future programs going virtually and to share resources for veterans and farmers and ranchers with disabilities.

Texas AgrAbility staff hosted a virtual training for migrant and seasonal farmworker personnel with the Texas Workforce Commission. Topics covered included services provided by Texas AgrAbility, resources for farmers and ranchers with disabilities, and common assistive technologies on the farm or ranch.
Central Utah Resource Facilitator Connor Dyreng was recently able to assist a disabled farmer with a hay problem. The farmer bales hay in small bales and needed help moving and stacking the bales from the field. More

Michael Porter, the southern Utah resource facilitator, has shared his knowledge of raising rabbits with several clients who are looking for alternatives to raising cattle. More

Unfortunately, Utah has seen a recent spike in cases of COVID- 19, and outreach events and client visits continue to be limited.
Dr. Alex Leonessa and Dr. Divya Srinlvasan, program co-directors, have been working with the Partnership for Innovation (PFI) Project to provide assistive technologies to farmers with disabilities. This effort is divided over three different prongs: knee bracing, back support, and a power glove to help with grip. More

The new AgrAbility Virginia brochure and website have been published. Please visit www.agrabilityvirginia.org to see more and to download the PDF of the brochure.
The Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) staff is working on the home assessment forms and protocol for potential clients.

WSAP will be participating in the AgrAbility Virtual State Fair and is brainstorming ideas for content.

WSAP staff continues to work on building their lending library based around specific injury sectors and will have the additions on their website.

WSAP staff is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop their relationship and outreach to the VA's five incubator farms. The Department of Veterans Affairs is promoting WSAP's future webinar and staff will be working with them on a veteran-specific webinar in the future.

WSAP staff have been attending several webinars hosted by other states as well as accessing National AgrAbility links for new staff training.
Wisconsin staff is looking to hold more virtual meetings in the future. One on farm stress will be scheduled for late July. Interested persons can find the other recent webinar with a guest speaker from WI FSA on the AgrAbility of Wisconsin website.
AgrAbility for Africa
Farming communities in Africa, like many in different parts of the world, are disadvantaged when it comes to information and mental health services access. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need to support mental health information access for these rural farming communities, More
AchieveKids - a non-profit in California with expertise in complex and severe developmental, emotional, and behavioral challenges - and the staff of AgrAbility for Africa held a meeting to discuss mental developmental disabilities, stress, anxiety, and depression faced by children. More

The staff continue to attend multiple webinars related to Covid-19 and to mental health for children and farmers to draw on a wide variety of opinions, expertise, and resources geared toward minimizing lasting impact on infants and to ensure that children not only survive, but thrive in this time as do children in other parts of the world.
Staff have been developing practical tips and solutions by working with partners in Uganda to promote farmer safety and health for rural farming communities. AgrAbility for Africa has put together an instructional manual on "how to make your own masks," More
North Carolina
Please join NC AgrAbility Partnership in wishing all the best to Dr. Crystal Kyle who has served as the NC AgrAbility Partnership director and the NC A&T State University Agromedicine campus coordinator for the last almost two years. Dr. Kyle started a new position as a biological scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture in Kansas City. More

Our new NC AgrAbility Partnership director is Beatriz Rodriguez who has been helping to improve the wellbeing of the North Carolina farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers with disabilities since 2016. Beatriz earned an MS in agricultural and environmental systems with concentration in agribusiness and food industry management at North Carolina A&T State University, and a BS in agronomy engineering from the National University of Colombia. More
Goodbyes: Dr. Rick Peterson, project director for Texas AgrAbility, is heading to Kansas as the new associate director of Extension programs. As project director for Texas AgrAbility since 2009, Peterson brought the AgrAbility program back to Texas and has secured funding for the project for the past 11 years. Dr. Peterson will be greatly missed as part of the Texas AgrAbility team. Congratulations on your new position with Kansas State Research and Extension!
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

Copyright © 2020 Purdue University