December 2021
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
Applications for 2022 state AgrAbility Project grants are due January 13. See
NTW Updates
  • Registration is open for the 2022 NTW in Madison, WI! Click HERE to go to the NTW website where more detailed information, the registration link, and the link to reserve a hotel room are found. Don't wait until the last minute: register and reserve a room now, so as not to miss out.
  • Please continue reaching out to anyone that might want to be an exhibitor or sponsor, or send Tess their information. Here is the link to the Exhibitor-Sponsor Google form. For a printable copy of this form, it is available on the NAP website on the NTW page and on the Sponsor and Exhibitor tabs of the NTW website
  • Don't forget about state raffle baskets and auction items. Both of these activities help bring farmer clients to the NTW.
  • For any questions about the NTW, contact Tess at
The November 29 all-staff meeting has been archived and is available at
The Regional Workshop in Manhattan, Kansas, on November 16-18 was a success. There were 36 attendees discussing topics on suicide prevention, help for farmers in crisis, veterans, VR, business planning, and tips for working while using less muscle. More

Dates have been set for the regional workshop with OH AgrAbility - June 28-30, 2022, in Columbus, OH, at the Hilton Garden Inn Columbus Easton. More information to come.
Anyone interested in hosting a regional workshop in conjunction with Goodwill and NAP please contact Tess or JoBeth

The NAP's Veteran Outreach Coordinator, Cindy Chastain, attended and presented at the Regional Farmer Veteran Coalition Conference in Knoxville, TN, on the 18th of November. More
Ed Sheldon and Chuck Baldwin represented the National AgrAbility Project at the National Black Farmers Conference in Boydton, VA, November 5-6. The annual NBFA conference includes both the NBFA and the Association of American Indian Farmers (AAIA). The theme of this year's conference was "ReClaiming, ReGaining & ReGenerating Our Farms." More
Approximate 160 people participated in the AgrAbility/North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center webinar "Strategies for Preventing Farm/Ranch Suicides and for Assisting Those Left Behind." The archived session is available at
Toolbox Spotlight
For those who have difficulty climbing vertical combine ladders, Combine Cab-Access Stairs are a relatively inexpensive alternative vs. a powered lift. Bolted to the machine's deck-plate, the stairs slope at a 45 degree angle behind the drive tire to facilitate ascending/descending. With handrails on each side, it usually has seven steps, the bottom two or three being retractable for proper ground clearance.
The Alaska Agrability team was busy in November assisting with the first annual 2021 Alaska Farm Bureau Convention & Trade Show in conjunction with the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) conference. The event took place on November 12-14 in Anchorage at the Egan Center. More

The team also gave presentations at many other meetings and conferences in November. More
California AgrAbility staff hosted the Puentes Network virtual Spanish event for community members and agency representatives. UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) representative Teresa Andrews offered "Recognizing Our Individual Worth," a presentation focused on personal care. More
California AgrAbility staff attended the "Supporting Mental Wellbeing of Farmers and their Families" webinar hosted by the Colorado AgrAbility Project. The webinar provided suicide awareness training for therapists and service providers (e.g., AgrAbility staff). More

California AgrAbility graduate student intern Mauricio Guerrero-Villanueva received his Mental Health First Aid certification from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. More
This November, the Colorado AgrAbility Project (CAP) had the opportunity to join Colorado State University's Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity (AGR) in a service-connected project with a CAP client Vijay Viswanathaan. In 2003, Vijay was injured in a rock-climbing accident where he incurred a T5 spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia. More
Georgia AgrAbility was thrilled to be invited by Tennessee AgrAbility to the Farmer Veteran Coalition conference in Knoxville on November 17th - 19th. It was great to see the other AgrAbility states and connect with farmer veterans from across the U.S. Staff brought the mobile learning lab to display assistive technology. Thanks to Eileen in Tennessee for all of her hard work in organizing the conference.
AgrAbility staff attended the Troup County Ag Day for the grand opening of the Troup County Agriculture Center on November 6th. The Mobile Learning Lab and the live demonstrations were a big success.
The new Indiana AgrAbility Project met with their partners and advisory team to set the groundwork for the next four years. The group reviewed the work plan and how each partner fit into it. More
Indiana AgrAbility is again sponsoring the Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest, which challenges organizations to complete service projects to assist people with disabilities in their communities. The staff mailed brochures to every FFA chapter in Indiana and is exploring avenues for promoting the contest to other groups.
The National AgrAbility Project regional workshop held in Manhattan, Kansas, on November 16-18 was a success with participants from Ohio, Denmark, and across Kansas. More

Kansas AgrAbility friend and Poet Lariat, Ron Wilson from Lazy T Ranch, provided the gift of one of his unique poems, "AgrAbility." Ron Wilson Lazy T Ranch AgrAbility Poem.pdf ( and FB Video of Ron Wilson delivering poem (Video credit to Tess McKeel.)
Maine AgrAbility is excited to have launched registration for the 2022 Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners and Farmers. This class teaches how to go from seed to salary for all beginning farmers of all abilities interested in growing and selling their own farm produce. More
Staff are continuing to develop new tools for outreach and education. The popular poster with Yoga Stretches For Farmers is evolving into new resources specific to fishermen and forest workers. More

Be sure to check out Maine AgrAbility's most recent news posts for farmers, fishermen, and forest workers.
Carhartt has partnered with Michigan AgrAbility to help distribute prototype wheelchair aprons! The aprons are a part of Carhartt's research and development to provide work attire that assists tradespeople who are working from a wheelchair. The tradespeople who received prototype aprons will be providing feedback for continued development of the apron.
Missouri AgrAbility focused their social media efforts on program promotion for MU Extension & partner program and new resources for AgrAbility clients. Additionally, Missouri AgrAbility continues to capture soundbites, photos, and videos of Missouri farmers and agriculture to build their media database.

Missouri AgrAbility campus and field specialists delivered five education-based AgrAbility programs reaching 100 participants, networked with 225 stakeholders, developed three new farmers with disabilities resource guides and facilitated four direct onsite farmstead services to AgrAbility farmers and their families.
Emily Doosing, county engagement specialist in 4-H youth development, MU Extension in Shannon County, presented her "Unintentional Discrimination: Promoting Ability Awareness and Accommodation in Extension Education" program at the 2021 ESP National Conference,... More
Missouri AgrAbility marketing reached more than 400 special education and classroom teachers at the Missouri State Teachers Association Conference on November 18 and 19, 2021. More

Missouri AgrAbility was discussed as a resource during the Networking Coffee for Professionals - Springfield that was attended by rehabilitation and community support providers. More
Nebraska AgrAbility was represented at the Ag-Ceptional Women's conference in Norfolk, and while it wasn't as well attended as in past years, conversations regarding how lack of sleep can lead to farming accidents and poor health were beneficial. More

Staff members are excited to finally attend a large farm expo in Lincoln that has been unavailable in past years due to popularity. Staff will also present formally to educate about AgrAbility. Also on the schedule is the Nebraska Cattlemen's Convention and Trade Show.
Jackie Allenbrand from P.H.A.R.M. Dog USA has been a long-time partner of Nebraska AgrAbility. Her book titled Four-Legged Farm Hand: A P.H.A.R.M. Dog USA Tale, was released and can be purchased at most bookstores and More

Last but not least, congratulations to the newly married couple, team member Emily and A.J. Jacobson!
North Carolina
On November 4, NC Assistive Technology Program presented the Accessible to All demo. The special guests were Timothy and Carrie Martin, owners of Footprints in the Garden (a Mt. Olive based farm). More

NC AgrAbility participated as an exhibitor and presenter at the 2021 Sustainable Agriculture Conference from November 5-15. More
Ohio AgrAbility Project (OAP) staff presented information about AgrAbility services and successes to a group of counselors and supervisors from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), Ohio's vocational rehabilitation agency. Topics presented included an overview of farming with a disability, modifications, success stories about OAP/OOD clients, and resources to learn more about AgrAbility.

OAP Disability Services Coordinator Laura Akgerman attended the Kansas regional workshop, and enjoyed networking with colleagues, learning more about Kansas AgrAbility, Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, the Lazy T Ranch, and the Flint Hills of Kansas.
November was a busy month for AgrAbility PA staff members. A highlight was the return of an in-person event: Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's 71st Annual Meeting. Dr. Suzanna Windon and Linda Fetzer both presented sessions at the conference, More
The TN AgrAbility staff is reminded of all the wonderful, dedicated people they are thankful to work with every day who bring hope to farmers with disabilities!
Great visiting with Farm Again Georgia, National AgrAbility Project, North Carolina AgrAbility, Texas AgrAbility, and Virginia AgrAbility, who all came to TN. Reach out to the National FVC to learn about veterans who want to farm in your state!
TN AgrAbility can finally officially announce that the STAR Center is TN AgrAbility's new non-profit disability partner on its new NIFA/USDA grant. The STAR Center was awarded the TN State Vocational Rehabilitation services contract and went from a regional provider to a statewide provider of assistive technology resources starting this October 1st. More

TNAP honored its veteran farmers with disabilities on Veterans Day with several ceremonies. One example is Todd Bentley of Cheatham County, TN, who is a Homegrown by Hero certified, TN farmer veteran. More
In November, TN hosted the Farmer Veteran Coalition Regional Stakeholders Meeting in Knoxville, TN. It was great meeting and networking with 180 participants from across the USA. TN hosted 70 folks on three diverse farm tours. More
Texas AgrAbility hosted a webinar with the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living titled "Promoting Independent Living in Rural Communities." More
Texas AgrAbility visited Hope Farms in Houston, Texas. Hope Farms was established as a training farm to supply the local underserved community with locally grown, healthy foods. Staff explored options for teaching future classes for both clients and service providers.
The BattleGround to Breaking Ground program received a grant to expand the current training program to offer a career skills program for active-duty military. The program will allow active-duty military members to attend a training program during their last 180 days of service. More
AgrAbility of Utah attended the Beaver Watershed Tour and Pesticide Training Workshop on November 19 and gave a presentation on AgrAbility services. The workshop and tour were attended by over 100 farmers and ranchers from southwestern Utah.

On November 22, AgrAbility of Utah was able to present to members of the Cache Interagency Council. The mission 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 28 farmer clients at various levels of engagement and need.

AgrAbility Virginia Marketing Coordinator Liza Dobson traveled to Roanoke, Virginia, on November 6th to exhibit at the Brain Injury Association of Virginia Making Headway Conference.

Dobson and Field Staff and Veteran Coordinator Tony Edwards traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, November 17 & 18, to exhibit at the Eastern Regional Farmer Veteran Coalition Conference.

Edwards then attended the VSU Small Farms Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, November 19 & 20 to exhibit AgrAbility Virginia. He was then scheduled to join other AgrAbility Virginia staff in Williamsburg, Virginia, November 29-December 2 for the Virginia Farm Bureau Convention.

AgrAbility Virginia staff are looking at additional conferences for 2022 to showcase program offerings.
In November, Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) hit the road to reach out at in-person conferences (following COVID protocols) which had been cancelled in 2020. WSAP exhibited at the Spokane Farm and Food Symposium (Spokane, WA) and both exhibited and held workshops at... More

WSAP partner Northwest Access Fund held a webinar "Tools for Managing Medical Debt" with a focus on farmers and farmworkers with an injury or disability. The webinar recording can be accessed here.

WSAP is also working with Cherry Creek Media to run a native ad campaign. In the month of November, unique AgrAbility main page views tripled from October.

WSAP and Northwest Access Fund began working on a series of four webinars to launch in March with unique topic interests to drive AgrAbility awareness and potential clients.
Happy Holidays from the AgrAbility of Wisconsin Staff! The staff hope you and your families are happy and healthy.

AgrAbility of Wisconsin finished November with its annual advisory council meeting where they were able to meet in-person and discuss all things related to Wisconsin AgrAbility.

In early December, AgrAbility of Wisconsin will be attending the Wisconsin Farm Bureau's annual meeting and trade show. Staff are looking forward to connecting with their Wisconsin farmers.
AgrAbility for Africa
AgrAbility for Africa held a meeting on November 30 with Ghost Network and engineers in adhesives, polymers, plastics, rehabilitation, and assistive technology, with the mission of increasing access to rehabilitation care and assistive technologies to enhance quality of life for rural communities in Uganda. More
We are excited to have Evann Rowland join Georgia AgrAbility. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Masters of Science in Animal Science. She will be working with our farmers in North Georgia.
Click titles below for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

Copyright © 2021 Purdue University