August 2021
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
AgrAbility All-Staff Meeting this Thursday, August 19 at 3:00 EDT. Look for details soon in an upcoming email. Topics include updates from NIFA and new NAP initiatives and partners for 2021-25.
AgrAbility/North Central FRSAN webinar, "Migrant/Seasonal Farmworkers: Stress Issues and Solutions," Wednesday, August 25, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT. Register at
There are only three more 2021 NTW Virtual Sessions! Tune in tomorrow, August 17 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for "Update on USDA's support for Veterans" from USDA Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison Bill Ashton. If you haven’t registered yet, a schedule for the rest of the sessions and a registration link is available on the NTW tab of the NAP website HERE.
2022 NTW will be in person!!!! Staff are working with WI AgrAbility and the Madison Concourse Hotel again to bring you an in person NTW for 2022. Tentative dates are 3/14-3/17. The first planning call is scheduled for 8/23 at 3 pm ET. If you would like to join the planning committee, email Tess at More information to come. For any questions, please contact Tess or JoBeth
There was a great turnout at the regional event in Billings! Sixty-two people attended this event that was coordinated in conjunction with the Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program. The first two days of presentations focused on farm stress and mental health, working with tribal nations and veterans, adaptive tools and technology, and worksite assessment. The third day featured tours of local agricultural businesses.

Anyone interested in hosting a regional workshop in conjunction with Goodwill and NAP, please contact Tess or JoBeth
The 2021 AgrAbility Harvest newsletter is available in PDF and HTML at Staff members are scheduled to receive individual copies, and SRAPs should be receiving 100 each for distribution.

The National AgrAbility Project was pleased to be able to meet with its advisory team again in person on July 28-29 in Indianapolis. Sixteen people were able to attend in person, and more than 10 others participated virtually.
Toolbox Spotlight
Used primarily in rotational grazing, TumbleWheel Rolling Electric-Fence Posts, which look like the spokes of a wheel with electric wire running through the center hub, allow one to relocate an entire fence line without having to turn off the power, pull out, move, or re-sink the posts, then turn the power back on. When just one or both ends of the fence are moved, all the wheels roll along.
July was an extremely busy month for the AK AgrAbility team! Staff were honored to host Ned Stoller of Foresight Services, LLC and Michigan AgrAbility. While on a working vacation with his family, Ned assisted the AK AgrAbility project with multiple on-site assessments, workshops, and agricultural tours. More

It is fair time in Alaska, as in other places. AK AgrAbility has attended a fair in Delta Junction and on the Kenai Peninsula so far, and are planning for the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska. Outreach booths and informal AT demos are in the works for August.
California AgrAbility staff hosted the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) quarterly meeting on July 8. Tess McKeel shared event details for the upcoming AgrAbility Regional Training Workshop in Billings, Montana. More

Staff attended Adaptive Farming with the New Mexico AgrAbility Apprenticeship Program, a virtual webinar presented by the National AgrAbility Project as part of their virtual National Training Workshop series. More
California AgrAbility's Esmeralda Mandujano moderated the 23rd AgrAbility National Training Workshop virtual session "Community of Support for Return to Work Life," with presenters Wanda Caron and Katra Crosson of Alpha One Independent Living Center and Maine AgrAbility. More
Georgia AgrAbility staff were able to use the Mobile Learning Lab to allow farmers to try out two different off-road wheelchairs. This is a great opportunity for the farmer to experience the wheelchair around their farm before a recommendation is made to a funding agency.

GA AgrAbility hosted a webinar with Dr. Therese Willkomm titled, "Farming with an Amputation - Voices from the Past," on July 28. Dr. Wilkomm shared a collection of interviews with farmers with an amputations who shared their experiences and adaptations to continue farming with an amputation. There will be one more opportunity this year to join an upcoming webinar by Dr. Wilkomm. The topic will be "Make Stuff and Love People. "
The Indiana AgrAbility Project is glad to once again be funded by USDA/NIFA for another four years.
Indiana AgrAbility, the Indiana Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation continued their series of veteran outreach workshops with two July programs in opposite corners of Indiana. More
Kansas AgrAbility teamed up with the Kansas Farm Management Association to present at the KFMA Summer Meetings in South Central Kansas. KFMA is a program in the agriculture economics department at Kansas State University. More
Maine AgrAbility's Boots-2-Bushels continued with its monthly in-person workshops. In July, the group met at Stonecipher Farm in Bowdoinham to learn about no-till farming practices. The hands-on learning is proving to be a successful learning method.

Maine AgrAbility's most recent article in the Commercial Fisheries News is about fishing and energy conservation. More

Staff have started a new blog from a collection of notes gathered by AgrAbility staffer Ketra Crosson, OTR/L, from her time spent tending a raised bed during the pandemic last year. More

Anne Devin, Maine AgrAbility's veteran outreach coordinator, received the NACAA state Search for Excellence award in the Young, Beginning, or Small Farmers/Ranchers category. Anne gave a presentation as part of the 2021 NACAA conference on AgrAbility's Boots-to-Bushels program.
To celebrate the return to in-person programming, six Maine AgrAbility staff members participated in the ultimate professional development opportunity on the Kennebec River this week by facing the challenge of Class IV rapids together! More pictures on Maine's Facebook page.
This year's AGRO EXPO in Michigan is almost here! Michigan AgrAbility will be one of the vendors at the AGRO EXPO on August 17-18 in Saint Johns, MI.
Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on: NTW workshop promotion, technology used by farmers/ranchers, and heat stress/illness. More

MU Extension specialists will set up MO AgrAbility and farm Stress displays as well as hand out programmatic resources at the MO State Fair Thursday, August 12 - Sunday, August 22. More

Tuesday, July 13, Missouri participated in the NAP Evaluation Committee facilitated by Bob Fetsch, NAP evaluation team leader.
Thursday July 22 and Saturday July 24, Missouri AgrAbility assisted with demonstrating the Beehive Lifter, a lifting device that helps beekeepers work more efficiently without extensive physical efforts. Other beekeeper tools were also demonstrated.
ISFOP has expanded its field staff in 2021. All new staff received training regarding the Missouri AgrAbility Project and farmer and rancher stress over a two-day professional development event.

Missouri AgrAbility marketing is being expanded with the pilot project of a "Brain Injury Information & Support Bag" for AgrAbility clients in rehabilitation facilities. More
A staff member recorded a video presentation to promote understanding of Nebraska AgrAbility for the annual Ag-Med Course offered by Central States Center for Agriculture Safety and Health at UNMC. Over 50 professionals participated in the educational offering for continuing education.

Two clients have agreed to be filmed by News Channel Nebraska to produce some informational videos featuring their hard work and dedication to farming and ranching. The plan is to use these videos not only for NCN advertising, but also on social media, at events, and other venues.

A Nebraska AgrAbility client retired from his operation and gave equipment back to the Nebraska AgrAbility program for use with a future client.
North Carolina
July 15, NC AgrAbility hosted the in-person Farmer Veteran Coalition of North Carolina board of directors meeting at the NCA&T campus. At this strategic planning meeting, the group looked to optimize and allocate the resources available to fulfill the goal of mobilizing veteran farmers in North Carolina. More
July 17, NC AgrAbility participated at the China Grove 40th Annual Farmers Day Festival. The festival allowed farmers to sell their products, and it provided a day of fun for residents with food, crafts, and music. More

NC AgrAbility holds monthly virtual meetings with partners and collaborators to provide continued quality services to farmers across the state.
Ohio AgrAbility Director Dee Jepsen joined Chuck Baldwin of NAP at Amish Horse Progress Days in early July. Ohio AgrAbility's display included gardening tools and handouts, and the attendees were very interested in the low-tech solutions to gardening with arthritis or other limitations.

OAP staff continues working with farmers, presenting webinars, and planning for Farm Science Review in September.
Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator Rachel Jarman was interviewed on The Rural Woman Podcast July 24. Rachel spoke about her farm, education, and her work with Ohio AgrAbility. The episode is titled "Enhancing the Quality of Life for Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Workers with Disabilities with Rachel Jarman" (see AgrAbility in the News below.)
The month of July continued on with farm visits and behind-the-scenes preparations for one of the hallmark agricultural events in Pennsylvania - Penn State University's Ag Progress Days! The three-day event ran August 10-12 and was in-person this year with several online interactions. The AgrAbility PA team looks forward to sharing more about this exciting event. Learn more.
Lancaster Farming featured a front-page story on July 23 about AgrAbility PA client Gavin Shaffer. "On a cold winter day, Garvin Schaffer found himself dangling upside down from the metal steps of a red tractor. And all he could think about was his knee..."
Four students from the Tennessee State University OT masters program chose to do their summer fieldwork with AgrAbility. Needless to say, they were the envy of their peers. The students and TN AgrAbility Zoomed on Fridays. More
It was a great two-day conference and networking with some of TN AgrAbility's friends with the Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN and cattlemen at the TN Cattlemen's conference! More
Thirty-one rescue personnel and farmers participated in the North Central W TN Grain Bin Safety/Rescue Awareness Training. It was hot, but everyone was very pleased with the training. More
Texas AgrAbility is hosting an educational webinar on August 17 at 2:00 pm CDT titled "Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Self-Employment." More
Elizabeth Gandara-Castillo will be hosting the first webinar in a series of migrant and seasonal farmworker webinars in Spanish on August 24 at 2:00 pm CDT. The free educational webinar will provide information on services for migrant and seasonal farmworkers with disabilities and chronic health conditions. More
Texas AgrAbility in partnership with BVCIL will host a free educational webinar on September 14 at 2:00 pm CDT. The webinar titled "Promoting Independent Living in Rural Communities" will provide an overview of the centers for independent living (CILs). More

Texas AgrAbility has developed an online course for occupational therapy practitioners to enhance knowledge of disability in agriculture. More

A one-day BattleGround to Breaking Ground educational workshop is planned for August 12 in Belton, Texas. More
Texas AgrAbility staff Elizabeth Gandara-Castillo and Makenzie Thomas collaborated with the Texas Rehabilitation Association for a lunch-and-learn session. The session educated 32 current vocational rehabilitation counselors on services provided by Texas AgrAbility and assistive technology on the farm and ranch.
AgrAbility of Utah presented at the Utah FFA Chapter Officer Leadership Training in Morgan, UT, on July 14. The event was attended by 142 FFA students from Northern Utah.

On July 21, AgrAbility of Utah staff presented at the Extension Field Days in Richfield, UT. Corn interseeding, fertilizer strategies, and irrigation technology research trials were demonstrated by Utah State University Extension agents.

AgrAbility of Utah staff was excited to present at the Utah State University Extension Field Day event on July 28 in Lewiston, Utah. Pasture and cover crop research was demonstrated and discussed and was attended by many farmers and ranchers in the surrounding areas.

On July 26, AgrAbility of Utah staff attended the Cache Interagency Council's hybrid meeting 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 22 farmer clients at various levels of engagement and need, including a farmer in southwest Virginia who was interviewed for a video just published to social media. Watch the video here.

AgrAbility Virginia now has both a brochure and an informational tear-off flyer in Spanish. Digital versions available on the website home page.

AgrAbility Virginia is planning an advisory group meeting in the fall via Zoom. The advisory group consists of farmers, ag professionals, and healthcare specialists.

AgrAbility Virginia staff plan to attend the Eastern Region Farmer Veteran Coalition Conference in Knoxville, TN on November 18.
Washington State AgrAbility Program (WSAP) has made successful communication with DVR and the collaboration to partner and help is underway. Materials are being developed to be disbursed statewide to DVR counselors, and regional managers will be attending the WSAP stakeholders meeting late on this month.

WSAP continues to plan an in-person stakeholders meeting August 31. Staff will be showcasing the new Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) facilities and reviewing stakeholder news, as well as discussing how to improve DVR awareness of AgrAbility services in rural communities.

WSAP is exhibiting at various fairs across the state with printed materials and tool demonstrations.

Two lending libraries with a wide variety of AT to check out are available through lending library established systems in two locations.

Staff are working with a client to see if this OrCam would service his needs. The Washington product representative is willing to do an in-person demonstration with the client.
Wisconsin AgrAbility staff were excited to see all of the WI FFA members at the annual convention trade show. Staff were able to chat with and share more about the AgrAbility program with the youth and educators in Wisconsin.

AgrAbility of Wisconsin is gearing up for the Skip Ellenbecker Memorial Golf Outing where AgrAbility will get to share more about its program with a table at one of the holes.
AgrAbility for Africa
Since the beginning of 2021, many parts of Africa have seen surges in COVID-19 infections and deaths - including Uganda. In response, AgrAbility for Africa staff have increased efforts supporting virus health information communication through increased sharing of COVID-19 health safety animations via mobile technology and through COVID-19 safety flyers and posters. More
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

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