October 2021
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
Join the next AgrAbility all-staff virtual meeting Monday, November 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 CT, 1:00 MT, 12:00 PT, 11:00 AKT. The agenda currently includes updates from NIFA and a presentation from Farm Rescue.
AgrAbility's next regional workshop will be held in Manhattan, Kansas, November 16-18, 2021. Registration is open! Find more information and the link to register on the NAP website under Other Trainings or click here. More
Thank you to all the SRAPs that have been posting and re-posting social media during the 2021 AgrAbility Virtual State Fair! So far, including pre-fair promotional posts, the 2021 VSF has reached more than 38,000 unique individuals on Facebook and earned more than 47,000 Tweet impressions on Twitter.
Planning is in full swing for the 2022 NTW, and the dates are March 14-17. There have been a couple of planning meetings by Zoom, and the planning committee will continue to meet on the third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. ET. Session proposals are due October 17, so get your proposals in now! More
Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project's underserved populations outreach coordinator, spoke September 21 to the first International Mobility Device Provision and Distribution conference in Columbia, Missouri. More
Toolbox Spotlight
With these cast iron Skid Steer Loader Bucket Steps, one is able to access the machine's operator station without having to climb over the bucket. The 6- by 12-inch steps are affixed (via welding or bolting) to the outside back of the bucket - one about halfway up, the other a couple inches down from the top. They consist of metal slats welded to a frame, the tops of which are serrated to help prevent one's shoe/boot from slipping.
Winter snow seems way early this year as Alaskans brace for colder temps! Everyone is scrambling to prepare following some winter storms and snow blizzards in early September!

Alaska AgrAbility representatives hosted a virtual tech hour chat focusing on tools for Alaskans who are deaf or hard of hearing. This chat is a part of an ongoing series open to individuals with disabilities, their caregivers, and disability support professionals to get questions answered and virtual demonstrations of assistive technology.

Art Nash, Alaska AgrAbility PI, has been working with a couple of partners to continue creating outreach materials around universal design. To accompany past work done on video about making the entryway and bathroom as accessible as possible, the collaboration will be looking at principles of retrofitting the kitchen for successful aging in place. More

On October 15 Art Nash, DeShana York, along with Steve Brown (Alaska CES Matanuska (Mat-Su) Valley Extension agent) will be demonstrating how to modify growing areas for various disabilities on site at the Mat-Su Senior Center.

DeShana York has been participating in the planning committee for the first annual upcoming Farm Bureau Convention & Tradeshow in conjunction with the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (Western SARE) Conference this November 12-14. The hope is that this new event will bring further education, engagement, and excitement around "all things agriculture" in Alaska. More
California AgrAbility staff participated in the first of three train-the-trainers workshops. The topic was "Overview of the Farm Loan Application." Amy Neale, farm loan officer trainee with the USDA Farm Service Agency, provided a detailed overview of the various farm loans, farm programs, More
California AgrAbility staff joined "Food in the Field," a webinar hosted by AgriSafe celebrating National Farm Safety and Health Week. Presenters from Nebraska Extension introduced their program, "Food in the Field." The program consists of four recorded online lessons and a recipe video. More
California AgrAbility partners from the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Network staffed an informational booth at the Farm Aid concert in Connecticut. This concert is the major fundraising event for Farm Aid, a nonprofit agency connecting farmers to resources to support their farm operations. More
Colorado is experiencing what seems to be a slowdown on referrals due to COVID. Accordingly, staff are re-focusing their efforts to areas and partners that they had not seen for a season or so.

In September, staff met with the program coordinators of the Denver Botanical Gardens Chatfield teaching facility. They offer veterans a hands-on approach to learning about plant and soil science. More
Dr. Glen Rains worked with Georgia Farm Bureau to publish an article about PTO and hydraulic safety. The article is posted on Georgia Farm Bureau's website.

Staff assisted with a focus group on stress experienced by young farmers in the state. Staff will use the information shared by the farmers to help AgrAbility clients who may be under a large amount of stress.

The staff is busy preparing for the Sunbelt Ag Expo that is coming up next month. They are very excited to have Tennessee and Virginia AgrAbility join them this year!
Indiana AgrAbility and the National AgrAbility Project staffed an exhibit at the 2021 Farm Progress Show in the Health and Safety Tent. The Illinois AgrAbility Unlimited Project was the host and organizer of the tent exhibits. More

Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, presented "Practical AT User Assessments" to the students in the graduate level course Assistive Technology Practice. More
Occupational therapists (OTs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) are an important referral source for Kansas AgrAbility. KAP staff provided a session at the annual Kansas OT Association conference on September 24. More
Kansas Project Coordinator Tawnie Larson attended and participated in a tractor cruise in Everest, Kansas, to support a KAP customer and her family. The cruise is an annual fundraiser for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. More
Kansas AgrAbility is pleased to host the National AgrAbility Regional Training Workshop November 16-18, 2021, in Manhattan, Kansas. Presenters will include Farm Rescue, Kansas Vocational Rehabilitation, SAVE Farm... More
Maine AgrAbility's Boots-2-Bushels (B2B) finished the growing season with its last on-farm tour. B2B participants and Maine AgrAbility staff visited Grace Pond Farm in Thomaston, Maine, on September 15 for an in-depth tour of their organic poultry, livestock, and dairy farm. More

Maine AgrAbility's most recent newsletter features the work of occupational therapists (OTs) and Mainers working in production agriculture. More

Maine AgrAbility's work with farmers, fishermen, and forest workers is featured on the Network Connections page of their website. Staff are also excited to share that their Level 2 OT fieldwork student, Michaela Marden, is featured in the latest article "FishAbility: Fishermen and Occupational Therapists" for Commercial Fisheries News.

On September 21, Lani Carlson was part of a panel talking to Master Gardener (MG) students about landscape design and access. Lani shared AgrAbility resources with about 56 MG students covering universal design, access issues, and ergonomics.
In late September, after representing AgrAbility at the Farm Aid Concert in Hartford, CT, WSU Extension Educator Don McMoran came to Maine for a visit with Maine AgrAbility's PD Richard Brzozowski. They unexpectedly met a 68-year-old fisherman using some interesting technology. More
In September, the Michigan Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition hosted a successful soil health workshop. Farmers in attendance were informed on soil health and discussed small farm CSA as well as direct marketing strategies.
Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on program promotion for MU Extension and partner programs and National Farm Safety Week. Additionally, the Missouri AgrAbility team met to discuss and develop a plan for the Missouri AgrAbility posting day as part of the AgrAbility VSF, and it continues to capture soundbites, photos, and videos of Missouri farmers and agriculture to build its media database.

Make sure to like and follow Missouri AgrAbility (@MOAgrAbility) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and its Missouri AgrAbility collaborative partners on Facebook: Missouri Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program, Heroes to Hives of Missouri, and Show-Me Strong Farm Families.

Brenda Schreck continues to work with the MO Vocational Rehabilitation case manager in the northeast region of the state on existing MO AgrAbility cases. Brenda is also working with two new clients who started the Mo AgrAbility onsite farmstead process.

Missouri AgrAbility is hosting a collaborative AgrAbility training for Rebab Services for the Blind staff members and outreach workers from Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program at Lincoln University Carver Farm. AgrAbility and onsite farmstead training is hosted by Lincoln University of Missouri.

Pharm to Farm, a Missouri AgrAbility partner, and UMKC School of Pharmacy has submitted an educational brochure for Missouri AgrAbility clients to educate about safe use of medicine on the farm. The brochure is titled Mixing Pain Medicine and Heavy Machinery, and it addresses the importance of safer medicine alternatives to opioids for farmers with pain conditions.

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) marketed the Lincoln University Small Farm Conference to potential Missouri AgrAbility clients who visited the BIA-MO website.

Missouri AgrAbility marketing continued through outreach efforts of the BIA-MO Annual Statewide Conference and Survivor and Family Seminar registration material.
The Nebraska AgrAbility team finally enjoyed in-person interaction with attendees at Husker Harvest Days, the world's largest irrigated working farm show in the nation. Sleep deprivation education was featured as a prelude to harvest. More

Check out an interview about Nebraska AgrAbility on The Brownfield Radio Network.

"Rehabilitating Farmers and Ranchers with Disabilities" was presented virtually to 27 OTs and PTs for continuing education units on September 27. More
North Carolina
On September 10, NC AgrAbility participated at the Small Farm Unit Cherry Research Farm tour. Dr. Liang and Dr. Jackai shared information about the research at the farm, the introduction of new varieties of vegetables, and some tools that can assist farmers with disabilities. More

On September 25, staff participated at the North Carolina Horticultural Therapy Conference. There were certified and non-certified HT folks at the meeting that were new to AgrAbility and enjoyed learning about the program, the services AgrAbility provides, and the work that can be developed jointly. More
Ohio AgrAbility staff exhibited at Farm Science Review in London, Ohio, in late September. It was an unusual year - new exhibit space with several OSU Extension programs under the "OSU Big Tent," inclement weather, and a smaller staff and partner presence due to illness and injury. - More
The month of September brought the start of fall, National Farm Safety and Health Week, and lots of planning for upcoming events and activities that will be resuming in Pennsylvania in the months ahead. More

AgrAbility PA exhibited at the Juniata County Agricultural Fair in conjunction with Penn State Extension, USDA, NRCS, and several other ag-related organizations in early September. It was a new experience for staff and new connections were made.

Staffer Kendra Martin presented to more than 50 attendees across the state that attended the Center for Independent Living (CIL) Virtual Conference in mid-September. More
Charley Jordan, AgrAbility friend and veteran-to-ag consultant, has been helping other veterans learn about agricultural benefits with a video and press release in the American Legion. Charley says "If this motivates you to enjoy the benefits of agriculture, then it's mission success for me." More

Tennessee AgrAbility Project reminded farmers that "Farm Safety Yields Real Results" during National Farm Health and Safety Week. TNAP staff shared the farm safety and health webinars from National AgrAbility's partner AgriSafe.
Texas AgrAbility promoted National Farm Safety and Health Week through social media. Daily topics and information were shared through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Texas AgrAbility had a booth at the 2nd Annual Southeast Texas Ag Summit. Staff members networked with local agriculture producers and shared information on AgrAbility and secondary injury prevention.
Staff posted an educational blog for National Suicide Prevention Month titled "How You Can Educate Yourself & Others During National Suicide Prevention Month." The post explores prevalence of suicide in the farming and veteran populations and how people can educate themselves to help prevent suicide. Check it out here.

The BattleGround to Breaking Ground program will be accepting applicants for the 11th cohort starting on October 4, 2021. Interested applicants can visit https://txagrability.tamu.edu/bgbg/training/ for more information.
Texas AgrAbility hosted a webinar titled "Assistive Technology for Farm Workers & their Employers." Ned Stoller joined Elizabeth Gandara-Castillo to highlight types of assistive technology to assist farmworkers with disabilities. Attendees included migrant & Hispanic support organizations and regional assistive technology professionals.
AgrAbility of Utah was excited to attend Utah State University Extension's Field Day in Cedar City, Utah, on Sept. 1. The event was held to educate farmers and ranchers in the surrounding area, and topics included irrigation techniques and cover crops.

On Sept. 1, AgrAbility of Utah staff attended and set up a display table at the Central Utah Grazing Expo in Richfield, UT. This event was sponsored by Utah State University Extension. This is the second year the Central Utah Grazing Expo has been held.

AgrAbility of Utah staff attended the Cache Interagency Council's hybrid meeting on Sept. 27 in Logan, UT, and explained the mission of AgrAbility. The goal of the Cache Interagency Council is to unite non-profits and community service organizations in sharing ideas, upcoming events, and ongoing services, thus producing a spirit of unity and cooperation among the participating organizations.
AgrAbility Virginia is currently working with 25 farmer clients at various levels of engagement and need, including three farmers who have received funding from the Easterseals UCP Bellows Fund to purchase assistive technologies.

AgrAbility Virginia Outreach Specialist Liza Dobson will be attending the Brain Injury Association of Virginia Making Headway Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, on November 6 as an exhibitor.

AgrAbility Virginia Program Co-Director Garland Mason will be presenting at the virtual Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit on October 12-14.

Staff will be attending and exhibiting for the Small Farms Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, on November 19-20.

AgrAbility Virginia will be participating in the NAP Virtual State Fair on October 6.

Resource Number:ALCE-269NP
Thanks to great staff, the Spanish promotional flyer was updated and improved!

On September 22, the Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) participated in the PCSGA Shellfish Conference & Tradeshow virtually and promoted the program during a vendor highlight portion of the conference.

WSAP communicated with various county Extension offices to offer an AgrAbility workshop. They also worked with partner Ferry County Extension to discover potential clients in this rural part of the state.

WSAP is working with Cherry Creek Media to develop a native ad campaign. This campaign will run November through January, include a radio interview, and will track site users.

WSAP reached out to Nebraska AgrAbility about utilizing their stretching brochure. Nebraska AgrAbility generously allowed WSAP to utilize their brochure with a few modifications.

Brainstorming and creative posts are being designed to share via WSAP's AgrAbility State Fair day on Oct 28.
The AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff finished out September and the beginning of October by attending the 2021 World Dairy Expo, held right in Madison, WI. Staff were happy to share their booth with the National AgrAbility Project.

Wisconsin staff will be gathering data for their 2021 advisory council meeting that is planned to be held in-person mid-November.
AgrAbility for Africa
Climate change and environmental destruction are affecting farmers with disabilities hardest in many parts of the world. Many people with disabilities are being forced out of the East Africa fishing industry due to dwindling numbers of fish in the freshwater bodies. More

Access to rehabilitation therapy is a challenge for many rural farmers, farm workers, and their children across Africa. More
National AgrAbility
Kimber Nicoletti-Martínez, Latino outreach coordinator for National AgrAbility, was recently awarded a 2021 national Jefferson Award. The awards are given in multiple categories, and Kimber was the only winner for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee. You can view Kimber's virtual award recognition at 29:47 of https://youtu.be/K8SLYRI1h-0.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization that "recognizes, inspires and activates volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America." (Wikipedia)
Bill Begley, director of sales for Life Essentials, passed away October 7 from COVID-related issues. He was a tireless ambassador for AgrAbility and passionate advocate for farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Bill drove countless miles across the U.S. to share hope and practical solutions with people in need and with professionals working in our field. During his presentations, Bill often told about how his life changed when he first went with his brother on a lift installation – and how he felt a new calling to help farmers and ranchers with disabilities get the technologies that would change their lives too.
Georgia AgrAbility welcomes our newest board member, Katie Duvall. She will be representing Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) on our board. Katie is the Advocacy and Policy Development Coordinator at GFB and is a host for the podcast Growing On. We are very excited to have her on our board!
CONGRATUATIONS to Dr. Suzanna Windon, AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians' PI, on her new appointment at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences as the director of the college's Ukrainian Rural and Agricultural Development Program. Read an article about her here.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

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