October 2022
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
Join us in Reno at the Silver Legacy Resort November 29th - December 1st. The workshop will be focusing on worksite assessment, AT, the Western Regional Stress Assistance Program, and mental health and wellness, and will include some small group discussions. A tour on December 1st will visit Lattin Farms, Frey Farm and Distillery, and WolfPack Meats. The agenda and registration link are on the NAP website.

For any questions or if interested in hosting a regional workshop, contact Tess McKeel at tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org or 585-447-9015.
2023 NTW Updates
  • The farmer stipend application for the 2023 NTW is now available on the NTW website under the Stipends tab. The applications are due by December 15th. 
  • The NAP is still looking for presentation and poster submissions. Interested parties can access the Google forms for the Call for Presentations here and the Call for Posters here. The last day to submit a presentation/poster proposal is November 15th. 
  • NAP is also looking for exhibitors and sponsors. Please reach out to businesses and organizations that may want to participate. The exhibitor application form may be accessed HERE. Please feel free to share these links. For a Word version to share, please contact Tess McKeel - tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org -585.447.9015 or JoBeth Rath - jbrath@goodwillfingerlakes.org - 585.402.2059

Join the next AgrAbility monthly Zoom session Tuesday, October 18 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Brian Norton of Easterseals Crossroads will lead the discussion on AT Act programs and AT loan libraries. Contact jonesp@purdue.edu for more info.
The 2022 AgrAbility Virtual State Fair is underway! Be sure to visit https://www.facebook.com/AgrAbilityVSF and https://twitter.com/AgrabilityVSF for daily posts through October 26 featuring AgrAbility initiatives and successes from all around the country.

Steve Swain, assistive technology specialist for the National AgrAbility Project, traveled to Langston University in Oklahoma to teach the AgrAbility module for the Langston University School of Physical Therapy's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, and Clinical Education Seminar 1. More
Toolbox Spotlight
With the push of a button, farmers with arm, leg, or endurance impairments can ride this winch-driven, all-metal Skylift Grain Bin Elevator to the bin roof without climbing. It's reportedly compatible with virtually all bin styles (e.g., flat-bottom, hopper-type) and made to fit any bin size. A complete package consists of a 110-volt winch (covered to protect it from the elements), installation components and hardware, safety cage platform, safety grab hooks, and a safety cable with a mechanism so that if the main winch cable breaks, the safety cable takes over to stop the cage.
Staff from Assistive Technology of Alaska (ATLA) attended the 2022 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Alaska Fall Conference where they networked and connected with physical therapists from across the state, providing information about how AgrAbility can support their patients. More

Art Nash will provide outreach by teaching about accessible growing areas and strategies to implement universal design. In this course he explores using landscaping, tool modifications, raised beds/growing boxes as well as layout considerations, More

The AKAgrAbility project is seeking someone to join the Alaskan team and assist with client engagements. See this posting for more information or contact DeShana York at ddyork@alaska.edu or 907-786-6330 with questions or inquiries: https://careers.alaska.edu/en-us/job/521334/agrability-client-specialist.
California AgrAbility affiliate staff presented "All About California AgrAbility" for the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). More
For several years, the Denver Botanical Gardens Chatfield Farms have offered free hands-on farming classes for veterans at their working farm outside the city. Colorado AgrAbility Project staff Jim Craig was invited to teach a session on ag injury avoidance, safety, and assistive technology. More
Georgia AgrAbility clients Al Anderson and Iteago Felton were featured in the 2022-2023 Georgia Grown Magazine. The article showcased the assistive technology the two farmers use and how working with Georgia AgrAbility helped them to continue farming. The article can be viewed online HERE. Hard copies will be available beginning in October.
Georgia AgrAbility partnered with the Chestatee Chattahoochee RC&D Council to demonstrate the benefits of using a drone in a cattle operation. GA AgrAbility's client has a large cattle farm and plans to use a drone to check on his cows in the pasture. This will help to reduce the strain on his back that comes from riding across the uneven terrain in the UTV.
Georgia AgrAbility is offering a tractor safety workshop in Blairsville, GA, on November 4th. The Project has recently had an increase in the number of new farmers with little experience operating a tractor. More

Staff attended the Georgia Organics September 2022 Farmer Field Day: Work Smart, Work Sharp: Choosing and Maintaining the Right Tools for your Farming Operation. More
Steve Swain, rural rehabilitation specialist for the Indiana AgrAbility Project, presented a "Practical Application of Assistive Technology" to Dr. Brad Duerstock's Assistive Technology Practice graduate-level course. More
During Indiana's day during the AgrAbility Virtual State Fair, the project shared a brief video of Steve Swain talking about what he does and why he does it. Click the image to watch it.

September 3, Indiana AgrAbility Project Manager Chuck Baldwin attended the Indiana Amish Handicap [SIC] Gathering in Monroe, IN. More

Steve Swain has conducted multiple Indiana farm accessibility assessments for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services on farms raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, pasture, brood cows and their calves, feeder cattle, contract finishing hogs, mushrooms, produce, and fruit. More
Maine AgrAbility staff attended the Brain Injury Association Annual Conference in Portland, Maine. They talked to dozens of people and provided brochures to increase awareness of Maine AgrAbility's role in working with farmers with disabilities.

Maine's Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners completed nine months of educational training to veterans, farmers with disabilities, and beginning farmers. More
Staff participated in the September session for the Mechanized Logging Operations Program (MLOP) in conjunction with Northern Maine Community College. Nine student loggers increased their understanding of ergonomics through fun, More
Michigan AgrAbility helped a farmer with shoulder injuries and arthritis in his knee prepare for harvest by coordinating funding through Michigan Rehabilitation Services for a scaffolding stairs tower beside his grain bin. He can now safely climb his bin with stairs and handrails instead of a vertical ladder.

Staff developed a flier inviting growers to utilize Michigan AgrAbility for assessing and assisting any Spanish speaking workforce. Andrea Garza, AgrAbility employee, is bi-lingual and works effectively with the Spanish speaking community. Each person evaluated on the farm receives a gift. Several employees have benefitted from assistive technology like power equipment and additional steps to help them work easier on the farm.
To address the needs of Missouri AgrAbility's customers, staff continued to build service capacity across Missouri through education and networking. This month, Missouri AgrAbility and its collaborative partners facilitated the following: More
Veteran Urban Farm members got hands-on experience in soil health though AgrAbility. Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Innovative Small Farm Outreach Program's (ISFOP) Jim Shepard and Susan Jaster introduced the Veteran Urban Farm (VUF) team (AgrAbility clients) of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture to soil health with hands-on learning. More

Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on program promotion and National Farm Safety & Health Week. More
Lincoln University Farm Outreach Worker Angela Brattin offered a hands-on Jesup Wagon demonstration at three different events: Prairie Days 2022, Homesteaders Expo, and a Field Day at the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center in Mt. Vernon, MO, which included 2,000 FFA students.
Lincoln University Small Farm Specialist Miranda Duschack and Farm Outreach Worker Mary Bolling attended the Urban Food Systems Symposium in Kansas City September 26-28. They toured the Mercy Children's Hospital garden and learned the steps that have been taken to ensure accessibility for rehabilitation patients.

Veterans and caregivers learned about Missouri AgrAbility during a presentation by Maureen Cunningham, executive director with the Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO), and Missouri AgrAbility partner. More

Missouri AgrAbility is featured in the BIA-MO Annual Statewide Conference registration brochure as the rural track sponsor. More

Missouri AgrAbility is featured in outreach material for the upcoming BIA-MO Survivor and Family Seminar. More

Additional Missouri AgrAbility marketing activities by BIA-MO included in-person presentations by Maureen Cunningham at the SafeKids Missouri Coalition fall 2022 meeting. More
Nebraska AgrAbility was in attendance at the 2022 Husker Harvest Days Farm Show west of Grand Island, NE, in the Nebraska Farmer Health and Safety Tent. This year, staff shared their booth space with their friends from LifeLyfts by Life Essentials, which displayed a utility tractor outfitted with a remote-controlled person lift that was a great addition to Nebraska AgrAbility's display.
Nebraska AgrAbility had a booth at the Elmwood Health Fair in Elmwood, Nebraska. Aaron Yoder reported that he had an opportunity to visit with Nebraska Senator Robert Clements. Aaron thanked Senator Clements for supporting the bill that provided AT funding for AgrAbility.
Nebraska AgrAbility was given an opportunity to share the program during the Midwest Resilience and Emergency Preparedness Conference in Lincoln. Emergency managers, health care providers, Nebraska voluntary organizations active in disasters, business representatives, and NGOs like the American Red Cross were in attendance. More
New Mexico
On September 27 and September 28, NM AgrAbility partnered with National AgrAbility to hold a two-day conference at the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) with informative presentations focused on the needs of food producers who are Native American, but open to all. More
North Carolina
NC AgrAbility Graduate Assistant Evan Hairston participated at the 11th Annual CAES Student Showcase of Excellence at NC A&T State University on September 7. Evan presented a poster titled "Networking and Helping Farmers with NC AgrAbility." More
On September 23, NC AgrAbility participated at the Farmer Veteran Coalition of North Carolina Educational Conference as an organizer and presenter. The Veteran Affairs Veteran Readiness and Employment Counselor Christiane Russell presented the services under chapter 33 and 31 available to veteran farmers. More
September 24, NC AgrAbility exhibited at the Caswell County Hoedown Festival in Yanceyville, NC. The festival was attended by approximately 400 people. Twenty-seven individuals received information about the program and had the chance to try ergonomic tools, and five of them registered on the listserv.

NC AgrAbility presented "AT for the Best Stewards of the Land: Our Farmers" at the NC Assistive Technology Program EXPO on September 29. More
Ohio AgrAbility's mission of education and assistance was on full display at the Farm Science Review in London, Ohio, September 20 - 22. Staff, farmers, and vendors greeted visitors, demonstrated assistive technology, displayed a tractor seat comparison display, and showcased equipment to keep farmers working safely and productively. More
Cursive Ohio Bike Adventures charity ride was held September 3 in Hardin County, Ohio, with almost 100 riders participating in the ride. All proceeds benefit Ohio AgrAbility. Austin Heil, the founder of Cursive Ohio, presented Ohio AgrAbility with a check for $4,465 at Farm Science Review. More
September started out with warm weather but ended with the Keystone State feeling the full effects of fall - including cooler temperatures and rain. Here's hoping everyone around the country is having a safe and successful harvest season.
AgrAbility PA is pleased to share a new anthemic video (think overview video with narrator) and three farmer testimonial videos featuring Jim Wright, Dennis & Lori Hunsberger, and Chelsi Shultz. More
AgrAbility PA staffers Kendra Martin and Marci Walborn met with a few hundred occupational therapists, including those from higher education programs for OTs across the state, at the statewide POTA conference, Sept. 28-Oct. 1. More

AgrAbility PA team members met with Andy Bater, a farmer who wears many hats in the agriculture community, to brainstorm about several AgrAbility activities. More

Thanks to NAP for offering some repeats of popular sessions from the 2022 NTW in Wisconsin. More
Great job on the part of Tennessee State University Extension and co-host Finis Stribling on conducting the TN Small Farm Expo highlighting the latest research in agriculture. The expo returned after going virtual a couple of years due to the pandemic. More

Congratulations to the first cohort of students that completed University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture's new horticultural therapy program! More

TNAP helped promote National Farm Health and Safety week and the great AgriSafe educational webinars. More

Another TNAP program highlight was on overall farmer health. UTIA is proud of its programs that not only encourage practical farm safety, but also promote the health and wellbeing of Tennessee farmers and their families. More

In celebration of National Service Dog Month, Smokey Mountain Service Dogs shared facts, etiquette tips, and some of the tasks service dogs perform all month long. More

TN AgrAbility promoted National Suicide Prevention Month during September. It is important to feel comfortable helping someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression. Call or text 988 if you or someone you know needs help now. More
TN AgrAbility presented at the Western Region TSU New Farmer Academy (NFA) at Black Seeds Small Farm. Black Seeds Small Farm received the TSU Small Farm award at TSU Small Farm Expo. More
Farmers attending the 2022 Beef and Forage Field Day held at Middle TN AgResearch and Education Center in Spring Hill learned about TN AgrAbility through its display. The most popular assistive technology tool (AT) was the antivibration gloves and how the gloves cut down on vibration and help with grip strength.
A Weakley County gardener benefited from a donation made by a veteran widow. After a long recovery from COVID, a Weakley County gardener was able to get back in his garden this year. Due to COVID, said gardener has respiratory and mobility issues which kept him from doing what he loves, working in his garden. More
University of Tennessee Ag Day was back to in-person this year. The day consisted of displays and interactive exhibits, and TNAP was a participant. Ag Day was held on the agriculture campus on the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, More
Texas AgrAbility staff partnered with Texas Workforce Commission's Vocational Rehabilitation staff and Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) staff to conduct an on-farm assessment.

Texas AgrAbility staff will be presenting to University of St. Augustine students about disability in the agriculture workplace.

AgrAbility staff met with the Southwest Ag Center to discuss new project goals and potential partnerships.
AgrAbility of Utah staff was excited to participate in the Utah Center for Assistive Technology Annual Open House on Sept. 13 in Salt Lake City. Staff set up a table and was able to explain AgrAbility to many of the over 100 attendees.

On Sept. 13, AgrAbility of Utah staff presented at USU Extension Cover Crop and Sorghum Field Days. More

AgrAbility of Utah was able to present to 25 members of the Cache Interagency Council on Sept. 26 in Logan, Utah. More
During the month of September, AgrAbility Virginia staff were able to interact with multiple audiences to share about the work of AgrAbility. Team members attended a Virginia State University field day, the National Conference on Next-Generation Sustainable Technologies for Small-Scale Producers, and a fourth-grade ag safety day in Wise County.

October is shaping up to be another busy month filled with presentations, expos, and the annual AgrAbility Virginia Advisory Board meeting.

On October 4, the team presented at a workshop on farming with a disability hosted by the Virginia State University Small Farms Outreach Program in Brunswick County.

Additionally, AgrAbility VA will be kicking off a fundraising campaign during the month of October.
WA AgrAbility confirmed the continuation of their current AgrAbility grant for year four.

In September, AgrAbility staff exhibited at the Washington State Shellfish Growers and the Affiliated Tribes of Native Indians Conferences Washington. Staff shared resources, displayed AT, and promoted new and developing lending library locations.

New staff completed three successful home visits and is currently connecting the clients with appropriate AT and other needed community resources.
AgrAbility for Africa
The Africa AgrAbility staff, friends, and partners were hugely disappointed by the forced cancellation of the first AgrAbility for Africa workshop due to Covid-19-related shutdown; but the good news is, the workshop has been rescheduled to take place in June 2023 in Entebbe, Uganda. More

Data are lacking on the actual figures of diabetes-related amputations, but visits to clinics and communities show a high prevalence rate of amputations in Uganda and other sub-Saharan Africa countries. More
Click titles below for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Click titles below for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

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