January 2022
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
NTW Updates
Happy New Year! If you have been putting it off, it is time to start thinking about the NTW. Here are some things for you to do:
  • Register for the NTW. You can click HERE to go to the NTW website. There you will find more detailed information and the registration link.
  • Reserve your hotel room. You can click HERE to go to the hotel page on the NTW website. There you will find more information and the link to reserve your room. The room block closes on February 10th, so don't miss out.
  • Do you know of someone that might like to be an exhibitor or a sponsor? Send them this link for the exhibitor-sponsor Google form, or send their contact information to Tess- tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org.
  • Put together a SRAP raffle basket and/or collect auctions items. Both activities help us to bring farmer clients to the NTW.
If you have any questions about the NTW, contact Tess: tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org.

AgrAbility all-staff virtual meeting: save the date for Wednesday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

The NAP is beginning monthly Zoom sessions on a wide variety of topics. Consider joining us for a discussion of marketing and media January 19 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Contact Paul Jones jonesp@purdue.edu for details.

AgrAbility/North Central FRSAN webinar: "Tensions of Farm Succession," Tuesday, February 22 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Details coming via email soon.

The next AgrAbility regional workshop is scheduled for Columbus, OH, June 28-30, 2022, at the Hilton Garden Inn Columbus Easton. Planning is just beginning, so more information will be coming.

NAP would love to host a regional workshop with you. If you think that you might be interested, please contact Tess tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org or JoBeth jbrath@goodwillfingerlakes.org for more information.
Toolbox Spotlight
A Personal Air Quality Monitor is a handheld or wearable battery-powered unit that tracks, measures, records, and transmits surrounding atmospheric condition data to one's electronic device (e.g., smartphone, computer). It warns workers with respiratory impairments if they are entering a dangerous environment for their lungs. The user can then, in real time, read the results (even be audio-alerted) and take protective action, if warranted. Among the pollutants that the monitor detects are carbon and nitrogen oxides, vehicle-exhaust emissions, dust, pollen, soot, mold, and a wide range of volatile organic compounds (primarily in gaseous form).
The Alaska AgrAbility Project is partnering with the Kenai Peninsula Soil & Water Conservation District to bring a seven-part educational series to gardeners and farmers statewide. More

The week of December 6th, DeShana York attended the virtual Young Fisherman's Summit hosted by Alaska Sea Grant. More

Staff also presented at a provider connect meeting hosted by Help Me Grow Alaska with attendees from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Providence Alaska Medical Center. Assistive technology for employment and community living was discussed for rural Alaskan living.
California AgrAbility staff attended a presentation hosted by UC Davis Health called "What is Positive Aging and How Do We Do It? ." It was presented by Dr. Helen Kales, a geriatric psychiatrist and researcher with the UC Davis Health Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Sciences. More
California AgrAbility staff has begun the "Question, Persuade, Response" (QPR) gatekeeper suicide prevention trainer certification course. QPR trainings will be offered to community healthcare clinics, county agencies, and other organization that offer support to farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers throughout California. More
California AgrAbility has recently committed to partnering with the Center for Land Based Learning (CLBL) to participate in and support the CLBL's 2021 application for the USDA AgVets grant titled "Enhancing Success of Military Veterans in Agriculture through Comprehensive Training and Wrap-Around Support" from 2021 to 2023. More
The Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) small grant program seeks to fund projects that educate agricultural support personnel and reduce farm stress or suicidality among farmers and ranchers. Dr. James Craig, rural rehabilitation specialist with the Colorado AgrAbility Project (CAP), has parlayed this opportunity into creating the Colorado AgrAbility College of Agricultural Sciences (AGSCI) website. More
Georgia AgrAbility traveled to Jekyll Island on December 5-7th to attend the 2021 Georgia Farm Bureau Conference. More

The Southern Regional Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) hosted a virtual conference bringing together 15 different state partners across the United States. More
Georgia AgrAbility partners with the Shepherd Center, one of the leading brain and spinal injury hospitals in the nation, to provide services to farmers. Our liaison at the Shepherd Center lets patients who are farmers know about AgrAbility services and makes the connection with AgrAbility staff. More
Staff from Indiana AgrAbility's new nonprofit partner, Easterseals Crossroads, joined the staff at Purdue for a planning meeting on December 8. Leading Easterseals Crossroads' efforts are Brian Norton, director of assistive technology, and Lisa Becker, assistive technology technician. More

The Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Show returned to an in-person event on December 14-16 at the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, Indiana. More
Finding new partners and strategies to reach veterans of all ages is a priority for all AgrAbility projects. Audiologists and rehabilitation staff at the Dole Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Topeka met with Kansas AgrAbility staff to discuss opportunities to promote services to Kansas veterans. More

KAP staff provided education on AgrAbility services to partner, SAVE Farm (Service Member Agricultural Vocation Education) graduates. More
Maine AgrAbility is launching 2022's Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners and Farmers. More

Staff were excited to share information about AgrAbility and farming issues in the winter weather. Be sure to check it out here.
Michigan AgrAbility held its annual farmer panel meeting via Zoom on December 14. The team discussed responses to the annual survey and case closure surveys as well as public outreach on social media and via mailings and phone call inquiries. The demonstration site for farm assistive technology and the Michigan State University College of Engineering Design Day projects were also discussed.
Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on program promotion for MU Extension and partner programs, agricultural safety, and health resources for holidays. More

Emily Doosing, county engagement specialist in 4-H youth development, MU Extension in Shannon County, launched Save Your Brain Leader's Guide, authored by Missouri 4-H, Brain Injury Association of Missouri, and Missouri AgrAbility. More

"Farm Stress Management Creates a Better Life," an article written by Susan Jaster was published in the Extension Today newsletter, a monthly newsletter that highlights Cooperative Extension and provides updates across the 1890 land-grant system. More

Missouri AgrAbility marketing reached 75 school nurses at the Coordinated School Health Conference on December 1-2. More

Brain injury resource bags with Missouri AgrAbility marketing materials including Brain Injury Recovery Step by Step brochure, Brain Injury Association of America Caregivers Guide, and a Missouri AgrAbility Journal of Hope were provided to Rusk Rehabilitation Center in Columbia, Missouri, for distribution to AgrAbility customers.
Lincoln Farm Expo, Nebraska Cattleman's Association Conference, and Gateway Farm Expo were all events where Nebraska AgrAbility was represented in December. Staff members presented in breakout sessions at the Lincoln Farm Expo. More

A team member presented at Nebraska FFA's Pathways to Careers (P2C) Conference in Kearney, Nebraska. More

Check out this story written by Kerry Hoffschneider about a Nebraska AgrAbility client!

Staff members want to take the time to say thanks to the National team for their support throughout the year and the learning activities provided. Staff look forward to seeing everyone in March. Happy new year!
New Mexico
New Mexico AgrAbility Manager Paul Ross presented on a regional panel of native plant material producers in January.
North Carolina
NC AgrAbility Partnership participated at the Minority Farmer and Landowner Conference on December 2-3 in Rocky Mount, NC. As an exhibitor, NC AgrAbility had the opportunity to interact with about 260 attendees. More
As Ohio AgrAbility staff reflected on 2021, there was much to be grateful for: Ohio farmers and farm families; AT vendors who exceed expectations in creativity and ingenuity, service to farmers, their ability and willingness to problem solve and find solutions to farmer needs; More
Happy New Year to AgrAbility colleagues across the country! The staff at AgrAbility PA hopes everyone has a safe, healthy year ahead.

December brought record-setting warm temperatures across the state. It was over 60 degrees on the last day of the year! The silver lining is that farm assessments continued forward without weather disruptions.
Dairy farmer and AgrAbility PA customer Chelsi Shultz shared her story with Farm and Dairy. Shultz was diagnosed with shoulder impingement in both shoulders. "It was all of that range of motion using your shoulder, and you use your shoulders in most things," she said. More
AgrAbility PA's staff held a team retreat to discuss opportunities and initiatives related to increasing customer capacity, setting benchmarks for service, and achieving new goals associated with supporting farmers and ag workers with a disability or long-term health condition. More
South Dakota
South Dakota's Tatanka Ki Owetu, the Renewal AgrAbility Project received a joint grant from CoBank and Farm Credit Services to augment its Tribal Local Foods and AgrAbility programs on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. More

Tatanka Ki Owetu AgrAbility team on Pine Ridge has been busy in 2021 and remains so in the first week of 2022. The team never stopped working in the field. Due to persistent, intergenerational poverty, access to technology and the internet wasn't an answer during Covid-19 for the team. More

Article of Interest: Please check out the article "COVID-19 in Indigenous Communities: The Lived Experiences of Extension Educators" by Hartmann, K. (2021) from the Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 28(1). More
Happy 2022 from TN AgrAbility! - Second snow for Tennessee. Staff are on a roll!
TN AgrAbility attended the annual 2021 TN Farm Bureau Conference in December. Those who visited the booth were presented a soap in a hose and opportunity to make a Christmas ornament.
TN AgrAbility will be seen rolling up and down the highways with a new grain bin training trailer, thanks to the sponsorship of TN Corn Board and TN Soybean Board. The trailer is equipped with all the necessary equipment for the TN grain bin safety/rescue awareness trainings... More
The BattleGround to Breaking Ground program graduates seven members and is welcoming 20 new participants in January. The majority of participants have service-connected disabilities and utilize Texas AgrAbility services during the program and after starting their farms and ranches.

Texas AgrAbility staff members Makenzie Thomas, Cheryl Grenwelge, and Faye McGuire will be attending the AgrAbility NTW in March and presenting on working with capstone students to further AgrAbility services for farmers and ranchers with disabilities.
AgrAbility of Utah was excited to attend and set up a booth at the Utah Cattlemen's Association Winter Convention and Trade Show on Dec. 2 in Salt Lake City. Staff visited with and explained AgrAbility to many of the 120 ranchers who attended.

On Dec. 7, AgrAbility staff attended an all-terrain power wheelchair demonstration on the campus of Utah State University in Logan, UT. The event was coordinated by the Utah Assistive Technology Program and a video of the demonstration can be found here.

AgrAbility of Utah staff met online with staff from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation on Dec. 16 to address any barriers and learn more about each other's organization.
AgrAbility Virginia is currently working with 28 farmer clients at various levels of engagement and need.

AgrAbility Virginia staff will be exhibiting at the Virginia Association for Biological Farming conference in Roanoke, Virginia, January 22-24.

Three hundred and thirty letters with brochures were mailed to all K-12 agriculture teacher positions across the state of Virginia the week of January 10th. More

AgrAbility Virginia program partner Easterseals UCP launched a JustGiving campaign to raise funds for the Assistive Technology Fund. More
The Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) coordinator hosted a booth at the WA Dairy Federation Conference and Trade Show in Grand Mound, WA, December 6-8. More

WSAP worked with WA Farm Bureau to provide an AT solution for a client to strap and wrap pallets.

Staff are planning a series of workshops with partner Northwest Access Fund. These workshops are slated for March and will cover the program, AT options, and financial knowledge and tools to access AT.

WSAP hired Cherry Creek Media to launch a three-month digital native ad campaign to surface new potential clients and to promote the program. WSAP is very pleased with the first month's results and looking forward to upcoming results.

Staff staffed an AgrAbility booth at the NW Cherry Growers Cherry Institute January 7 in Yakima, WA.
Wisconsin hopes everyone had happy holidays! Staff had a busy December attending the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation trade show. While attending, they were able to meet up with the new Wisconsin Farmer Veteran Coalition and discuss ways to support each other.

In January, AgrAbility of WI will be attending the Wisconsin Agri Business Classic, and staff look forward to attending the Wisconsin Corn and Soy Expo in early February.
AgrAbility for Africa
Religions in many parts of Africa have well-established grassroots structures and are still growing with momentous force, with different religious establishments running different practical projects. Since December 2021, AgrAbility for Africa has opened discussions with the different leaderships to explore ways of integrating AgrAbility's services into their different religious community projects to expand outreach. More
Early intervention can help children to make the most of abilities and skills developed during the early years in life. Through partnerships, the AgrAbility for Africa team is working with different organizations to make various therapies accessible to children in need of them. More
New Mexico
New Mexico AgrAbility welcomed three staff changes over the past three months. They are bringing in ruminant nutrition expert Robert Haagevoort, occupational therapy instructor Mary T. Hill, and Learning Farm manager Paul Ross.
South Dakota
The Pine Ridge team would like to welcome Theodore Pourier Jr., Chris Valandra, Bryce Valandra, Elizabeth Charging Crow, and Jackie Solano to our team. Ted, Chris, and Bryce were recently promoted to full-time AgrAbility assistive-technology support technicians. Elizabeth will be coming on in January as a part-time assistive-technology support technician, and Jackie will also be joining in January as a program assistant to the AgrAbility project directors.
Texas AgrAbility is currently joined by an occupational therapy doctoral student from University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Maggie Mencer will be conducting a qualitative study on the efficacy of the AgrAbility course for occupational therapists. She will also be joining the team to learn about serving clients with disabilities through worksite assessments and assistive technology recommendations.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

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