AgrAbility PA assists farmers and agricultural workers with a disability or long-term health condition by linking them to potential resources and by providing support they need to live independently and continue working in or return to production agriculture.

June is National Dairy Month! #UndeniablyDairy 

National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It was initially created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus, but has now developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.
This year, the launch of a campaign "Undeniably Dairy" will remind Americans of all that is good about dairy, starting at the farm and ending with the foods they love.  According to the Center for Dairy Excellence, Pennsylvania is ranked 6th in total milk production nationally. The Commonwealth's 525,000 cows produce more than 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually -- that's 2,454 gallons per cow!  Pennsylvania has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally, having more dairy farms than every other state except Wisconsin.

AgrAbility PA is thrilled to have the chance to work with our state's dairy farmers to help them overcome disabilities or long-term health conditions.  Recently, we had the chance to host North Carolina AgrAbility and share with them some of the work we are doing with Pennsylvania farmers! 
This dairy farmer showed how automatic detachers work in his parlor and explained how they have enabled him to continue milking with this  assistive technology (AT). He shared that since the automatic detachers  were installed he is now able to sit down when needed to relieve pain.  He no longer has to worry that a cow's udder will be injured if he does not  make it over in time to remove the milking unit. This AT helps overcome  physical disability and reduces stress!  
Saves the Dates! Upcoming Events 
When: June 14, 2017 | 7 p.m.
Where: Bryce Jordan Center | Penn State University
When: June 30 - July 1, 2017 
Where: 35 Brethren Church Road | Leola, PA
When: June 29, 2017 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Where: Penn State SEAREC | Manheim, PA
When: Aug. 15-17, 2017
Where: Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center
Address: 2710 W Pine Grove Rd | Pennsylvania Furnace, PA
For more information about AgrAbility PA , visit or , email , or call (814) 867-5288. 
Stay in touch with news, events, and information by following @AgrAbility PA  on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Get Outside! Accessible Trails & Beaches


Summer is here! Time to get outside to trail, park, or beach for some fun. 
Thanks to our friends at the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) for sharing these great links and resources in their recent e-newsletter. You can sign-up for the PATF e-newsletter on their homepage.

We enjoyed perusing it so much, that we wanted to pass it along to our readers! We can't wait to get outside!
Remember, despite any designations that the following websites give for a particular trail, park, or beach, it is a good idea to call or write ahead to confirm accessibility or current  conditions.
Trails and Parks
  • TrailLink: A list of trails, organized by state, of wheelchair accessible trails, along with in-depth descriptions of each trail.
  • Accessible Nature: Another list of trails, organized by state, that include those accessible to wheelchairs, those not accessible to wheelchairs but that provide easy walking, and those accessible to individuals with low vision or who are blind.
  • United Spinal Association Tech Guide: A list of organizations that support access to trails, paths, and parks across the U.S. and beyond.
  • A list of accessible and inclusive playgrounds in Pennsylvania. You can also search other states and countries.
  • Easter Seals of New Jersey: A helpful article that outlines how to make a day at the Jersey shore accessible.
  • Atlantic City: All you need to know about an accessible beach day in Atlantic City from how to access the beach, where to borrow free adaptive beach surf chairs, and where the ADA compliant restrooms are.
  • Island Beach State Park: An article about another accessible New Jersey beach that also provides beach wheelchairs, some of which are even outfitted for surf fishing. 
AT Spotlight: Barn Door Automation
I nstall an automatic sliding door to ease mobility in and out of the barn.

At the 2017 AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Knoxville, staff from AgrAbility PA had an opportunity to learn more about automated sliding barn doors from Propel Automation of Ohio. The company has worked with Ohio AgrAbility with great success, and it could serve as a great piece of assistive technology for Pennsylvania farms, too.  

The system guides the door(s) open and closed by attaching the motor to the door panel via our door arm. The motor has one internal moving part, a sprocket, that moves back and forth on the stainless steel chain.

The video above was shared at the workshop and features Rod's story, a farmer from South Whitley, Indiana. 

AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians (AgrAbility PA) is a statewide partnership between Penn State Extension and UCP Central PA in support of a project funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

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