August 2020
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
The U.S. House of Representatives included AgrAbility in its agricultural appropriations bill at level funding for FY 2021. The Senate has yet to finalize its agricultural appropriations bill.
The AgrAbility Virtual State Fair (VSF) is coming October 1! Current participants include 17 funded SRAPs, 2 affiliates, and the NAP. Look for coming details about how to promote the VSF, and check the current schedule plus more information here.

Due to continuing issues surrounding COVID-19 and guidance against gathering in large groups, the AgrAbility NTW scheduled to begin on Nov. 30 is being cancelled. Unfortunately, the Madison Concourse Hotel is not able to guarantee that it will be able to host a group of AgrAbility's size in November/December. Dane County is still under a mandate for groups to be under 10 people and hotel staff do not feel that that will be changing much in the near future, as their infection count is still rising.

The NAP hopes to plan some smaller regional events and some virtual events over the next 12 months. If anyone is interested in hosting an in-person regional event or virtual event in conjunction with NAP, please contact Tess or JoBeth
AgrAbility/LIFE Project webinar: "Roots of the Soil: Strategies and Resources for Succession Planning," Wednesday, August 26, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET. More

Congratulations to Esmeralda Mandujano of California AgrAbility for being selected the SRAP representative to the NAP Advisory Team for 2020-21. The Advisory Team provides feedback on our activities and gives suggestions for future program direction.
The NAP welcomes Jeanette Lombardo, new executive director of collaborating NAP partner the Farmer Veteran Coalition. She replaces Michael O'Gorman who founded the organization in 2007 and who remains FVC's chief agricultural officer.

The NAP now has eight Virtual New Staff Training presentations available at The most recent addition was "Outreach to Veterans" by Cindy Chastain.
Toolbox Spotlight
The WeWALK Smart Cane detects obstacles above chest level with an ultrasonic sensor and vibrates when these objects are near. It alerts users if there are low hanging trees, traffic signs, poles and other obstacles. It has mobile applications for both iOS and Android, and users can save favorite places and get turn-by-turn and clockwise navigation through the cane while the phone is in a pocket.
Alaska CES received a grant from AARP to develop adaptive growing areas where environmental modifications can be displayed for planting and harvesting of food. This demonstration area will be built using universal design principals. More
California AgrAbility staff joined Migrant Clinician's Network for "UPDATES: Working in the times of COVID-19. Protecting vulnerable workers and their families," a webinar held in Spanish for promotores. More
California AgrAbility staff members have been participating in weekly meetings with the Yolo Promotores Network to join efforts in providing community members with direct connections to support them through this evolving pandemic. More

California AgrAbility staff joined the "Promoting Mental Well-being for People of Color within the Realms of Environmental Health and Safety" webinar from the Blacks in Safety Excellence (BISE) common interest group in the American Society of Safety Professionals. More

California AgrAbility is staying informed on the effects of the pandemic on agricultural communities in order to collaborate with other boots-on-the-ground organizations and effectively conduct outreach during these times. The COVID-19 Farmworker Study provided preliminary results from the California surveys. More
Last month, Colorado AgrAbility reported on its IT challenges. Staff would also like to point out that their two farm site assessors are just a bit still in the dinosaur age. More

So, the effect of these experiences over the past few weeks has resulted in changing how staff deliver education. More

Colorado AgrAbility encourages everyone to remember that serious challenges are really just new opportunities to improve who we are and what we do.
On July 28, Georgia AgrAbility hosted a webinar featuring Dr. Therese Willkomm called "New Fabrication tools, materials, and techniques for making AT solutions in minutes." Dr. Willkomm always has new and innovative items to show the participants!
The world is slowly opening up. AgrAbility continues to take part in the Purdue Extension ag & natural resources updates to stay updated on the intricacies of working on and off of campus. More

Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services has reopened its offices and resumed issuing authorizations to initiate farm modification assessments. More

AgrAbility conducted three farm accessibility assessment visits with a second-career farmer who had a stroke, a lady farmer with a neurological condition, and a Marine veteran expanding his farming operation.
Kansas AgrAbility staff are making a variety of videos and collecting photos in preparation for Kansas's Virtual State Fair day in October...sponsored by NAP and several SRAPs. More
Don Bender is 80 years old and has muscular dystrophy, a hobby horse farm, and a shop like no other! Don wears a weighted backpack to help maintain good posture. He built this stand-up walker for an AgrAbility client... More
Thank you, Alpha Gamma Rho from Michigan State University, for donating $22,000 to Michigan AgrAbility. Words cannot express the impact this has on farmers around Michigan who are working every day in spite of the injuries and illnesses they endure.
An exciting event is happening in Michigan Sept. 8-18! Maggie Seymour will run from the Mackinaw Bridge to the Michigan/Ohio state line to raise funds for veterans entering farming. More
Missouri AgrAbility completed four face-to-face onsite farmstead assessments and developed requested resources for Missouri farmers and ranchers with disabilities and farm families this month.

Missouri AgrAbility staff also are preparing online virtual conferences that will take place in September, October, and November. Additional information forthcoming.

Lincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP), in collaboration with the University of Missouri, has been busy throughout the month of July.

Missouri AgrAbility level II assessments have begun to take place in a virtual manner. ISFOP staff with members of University of Missouri Extension Missouri AgrAbility program are using cell phones and tablets to video conference Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Rehab Services for the Blind vocational counselors while on-farm.

Additionally, field staff are outfitted with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks, face-shields, gloves, and hand sanitizer to ensure their safety and the safety of their Missouri farmers.
The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) produced a Brain Injury Recovery Step-by-Step brochure featuring the Missouri AgrAbility Project as a community life resource. More

The Missouri AgrAbility Project was highlighted by Maureen Cunningham, BIA-MO executive director, when she met with Webster Groves-Kirkwood social workers. More
Nebraska AgrAbility staff met via Zoom with a client to discuss how he could change his operation to meet the challenges posed by his disability.

Staff continue to attend weekly webinars to continue professional development in agriculture, safety, marketing & media, and mental health in Nebraska.

A staff member trained in the MSU Communicating with Farmers under Stress curriculum offered the second webinar (rather than a live workshop) on July 15 that was attended by 105 participants. More

Staff is still meeting regularly and is working on ideas for the AgrAbility Virtual State Fair!
North Carolina
During the month of July, NC AgrAbility at NCA&T continued striving to provide services to clients in these unprecedented times. More

NC AgrAbility has been connecting farmers to resources related to financial literacy, CARES Act funding for those affected by COVID 19, and farm school for veteran farmers.

Staff have been actively participating with the NC Department of Health and Human Services Latinx group to help create awareness among the Latino population about the importance of complying with sanitation protocols and getting tested when someone you have been in contact with tests positive for COVID.

NC AgrAbility Partnership continues providing resources to farmers through the NCA&T Cooperative Extension programs, NC AgrAbility website, and its Facebook page.
Ohio AgrAbility staff had several opportunities for virtual outreach and education in July. Program Director Dee Jepsen, Disability Services Coordinator Laura Akgerman, and two student colleagues presented Fitness for Farm Life for the ISASH 2020 virtual conference. More
Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator Rachel Jarman and Ohio AgrAbility farmer Kane Lewis were both virtual guest speakers for Easterseals Northern Ohio's Farm Week. Kane demonstrated some of his assistive technology and equipment and told the group about the accident that caused his disability. More

The Ohio AgrAbility team is working hard to prepare for Virtual Farm Science Review in September and looks forward to developing new resources and presentations to share with Ohio farmers and all of the SRAPs.
The month of July was all about continuing on with some farm visits and working on projects that will continue to help AgrAbility PA thrive in the coming year with the coronavirus restrictions and precautions remaining in the state of Pennsylvania. More

One of the hallmark agricultural events in Pennsylvania - Penn State University's Ag Progress Days - has gone from an event that draws 50,000 people to a VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE! Participants will follow along this year for four days of live webinars, on-demand video resources, an exhibitor marketplace, and more, August 9-12.

AgrAbility PA continues its efforts of building its library of resources and educational handouts specifically for farmers with disabilities and long-term health conditions in the state of Pennsylvania. Take a look at this resource on assistive technology for dairy farmers.
The Milan No Till Field Day was held virtually in 2020 due to COVID-19. So, for the first time, all activities were on-line instead of onsite. More
COVID-19 brought about many changes in the teaching world. Instead of an in-class presentation, TNAP presented virtually to 80 Tennessee State University and UT health science OT students. More

On July 26, TN AgrAbility celebrated and promoted the Americans with Disabilities Act 30th anniversary. Staff were reminded that it is a living document, not an artifact. More

Tennessee AgrAbility is helping military veterans if they choose to go into agriculture. See a video on its work here.

Thank you to the Farmer Veteran Coalition for awarding fellowship funds to help beginning farmers. There were six Tennessee awardees: More

Farmer Veteran Coalition shared the following:
"There are a whole lot of big smiles this weekend on the faces of farmer veterans as Tractor Supply Co. awards are landing in the mailboxes of our 2020 grantees! More

Thank you, Michael O'Gorman, retiring executive director of Farmer Veteran Coalition, for ALL you have done for veterans and farmers and for being a friend of AgrAbility. Welcome Jeanette Lombardo, new FVC executive director!
Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground finished hosting a virtual agriculture business workshop series on July 7. It was a series shared from June 23 through July 7, and each webinar was recorded and has been posted as a part of a virtual workshop module.

BattleGround to Breaking Ground applications were due July 13 for the selection of Cohort 8. Applications have been scored, and new participants have been accepted and will begin their participation in the program towards the end of August.
AgrAbility of Utah did two online AgrAbility trainings for vocational rehabilitation districts during their monthly staff meetings. The first one was for the Provo VR district on July 21 and included 22 counselors and staff. The second training was for the Southern Utah VR district on July 28 and included 17 counselors and staff.

AgrAbility of Utah attended the Cache Interagency Council monthly meeting on July 27 and gave a brief presentation about AgrAbility. The Cache Interagency Council is an association of service programs and nonprofits in Cache Valley. They meet monthly for presentations and networking.
AgrAbility Virginia staff are working on a farm financial stress assessment tool, a best practices resource for managing farm financial health and wellbeing, and a resource titled "Managing Farm Financial Stress for a Healthy Farm and a Healthy Farm Family" in collaboration with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Farm Safety, Health, & Wellness Initiative.

AgrAbility Virginia is supporting the development of a farm emergency planning resource developed in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Farm Safety, Health, & Wellness Initiative. Staff anticipate its publication in August.

The newly formed AgrAbility Virginia Advisory Group held its first meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, August 4. During the meeting, members were introduced to each other and AgrAbility Virginia's programming. Meet the advisory group on AgrAbility Virginia's new website here.

In coordination with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Farm Safety, Health, & Wellness Initiative, staff are in the beginning stages of organizing a farmer veteran listening session. AgrAbility Virginia field coordinator and veteran James T. (Tony) Edwards is taking the lead on this event.

AgrAbility Virginia is now on Twitter! Find and follow them @AgrAbilityVA

AgrAbility Virginia's new brochure is printed and available on their website for download. Click here to view it.

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

Staff have been reviewing the NAP new staff training videos.
Washington State AgrAbility Program (WSAP) hosted its third webinar July 14 facilitated by Curt Johnson, assistive technology specialist with Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP). Ten people participated from across the state.

WSAP staff is working on the home assessment forms and protocol for their potential clients with roll-out next month!

Staff will be participating in the Virtual State Fair and are brainstorming ideas for content.

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

Staff are working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop their relationship and outreach to five incubator farms. VA promoted the July WSAP webinar and WSAP presented a webinar about AgrAbility through the VA network on August 7.

WSAP staff have been attending several webinars hosted by other states and using NAP links for new staff training.
Wisconsin staff recently held a virtual meeting with the WI NRCS. It focused on Wisconsin AgrAbility history, information on enrolling in the AgrAbility program, assistive technology examples, and a client testimonial.

Staff have also been working with The Hmong Institute based out of Madison to enroll any of their members eligible for AgrAbility and to share with them information about FSA programs as well.

WI AgrAbility continues to share information virtually as much as it can with existing and potential clients.
AgrAbility for Africa
AgrAbility for Africa, Sonoran UCEDD (University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities -the University of Arizona), and Arizona Sonora Border Projects for Inclusion (ARSOBO) in the past weeks have been involved in talks to address disability rehabilitation care gaps that are entrenched within the African health care system that have resulted in chronic failure to support rehabilitation care and access to assistive technology for people with disabilities. More
The AgrAbility for Africa staff teamed up with Ned Stoller, an assistive technology professional with the Michigan AgrAbility Project, to design and donate a Bi-Crawler to Agnes Nabawanuka in Uganda. More

In efforts to advance the organization's mission to connect people with disabilities to life-changing resources, staff are seeking to catalyze significant advances in strengthening health systems by developing partnerships that will design, implement, and evaluate models of care that link implementation research and workforce training directly to the delivery of integrated primary healthcare in Uganda and other parts of Africa. More
Salah Fuad Issa joined the University of Illinois faculty in January 2020 as an assistant professor for agricultural & industrial safety and health. He works with IL AgrAbility Program Director Dr. Josie Rudolphi and helps support the program's activities.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

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