June 2021
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
The AgrAbility Regional Workshop in Billings is being coordinated in conjunction with the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program. The first two days of presentations will focus on farm stress and mental health, working with tribal nations and veterans, adaptive tools and technologies, and worksite assessment. The third day will feature tours of local agricultural enterprises. More
"Veterans Harvest: A Virtual Conference for Veterans in Agriculture." This series will convene for five consecutive Tuesdays beginning July 27 from 1 – 2:30 p.m. ET. Those already registered for the 2021 AgrAbility National Training Workshop Virtual Sessions are automatically registered for the veterans’ conference. More

The NTW virtual sessions continue to have great participation. The first 18 sessions had an average of over 75 attending each week. They were all recorded and are available on the NAP website HERE. The next session is "Programmatic factors that lead to changes in Quality of Life and Independent Living and Working Levels with AgrAbility Clients and a 25-Year Overview of AgrAbility Demographics" on Tuesday June 15 at 1 p.m. ET. More

Paul Jones joined Wisconsin's Paul Leverenz, Makenzie Thomas of Texas AgrAbility, and Mason Dean of AgrAbility in Georgia on June 1 for the NTW virtual session Improving AgrAbility Relationships with Vocational Rehabilitation.
The AgrAbility/North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center webinar "African American Farmers: Stress Issues and Solutions" had total participant attendance of 149, the second highest ever. It is archived at www.agrability.org/online-training/archived/webinar-series.

The May 21 all-staff meeting is archived at www.agrability.org/extranet/staff-resources.

Two conferences popular among AgrAbility staff members will be virtual again this year. Click the links for conference information for ISASH and RESNA.
Toolbox Spotlight
Connected to a battery- or gas-powered multi-tool power-head, the Handheld Rotary Broom Attachment is designed to sweep away dirt, sand, snow, mud, water, etc. from hard surfaces (even debris from lawns) quickly and with less strain on one's back and shoulders than would a manual push broom. It generally consists of a 1- to 2-foot-wide, 10-inch or so-diameter, nylon-bristled or rubber-finned broom.
The Alaska AgrAbility team gave presentations to the Access Alaska Traumatic or Acquired Brain Injury Peer Support Group, St. Mary's Episcopal Church Caring Ministries group, and the Older Person's Action Group meeting. Each group showed interest in the AgrAbility program, either for themselves or loved ones, and wanted follow-up and referrals.

Alaska observed "Drive Your Tractor to Work Day" on May 3, followed by "Alaska Ag Day" on May 4. AK AgrAbility supported the events virtually and on social media.

On May 12, DeShana York participated in a presentation panel virtual workshop titled "Getting Started with Gardening & Agriculture in Alaska" for the Alaska Forum on the Environment monthly series. DeShana was joined by Alaska Cooperative Extension Services' ag/hort agent from the Matanuska Valley, an invasive-weed instructor, and an IPM (integrated pest management) technician - all from Anchorage.
The AgrAbility team is pleased to be working with Ned Stoller, Michigan AgrAbility, to share some expertise with two upcoming virtual Zoom workshops in June. The sessions will be recorded so that they can be shared with clients that are unable to attend the lunchtime sessions on market farming and beekeeping.
California AgrAbility's Esmeralda Mandujano presented a webinar in Spanish for community partners CREO and Communicare Health Centers on the topic of arthritis and the ways it impacts individuals working in agriculture. More

California AgrAbility staff members joined the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety's monthly seminar, "California Farm Labor in 2021," presented by Agriculture and Resource Economics Professor Emeritus Dr. Philip Martin. More
California AgrAbility staff members attended the 17th National AgrAbility virtual training workshop session, "Asking the Right Questions and Finding the Right Resources for Rural Caregivers," presented by Dee Jepson and Laura Akgerman of Ohio AgrAbility at The Ohio State University. More
Faced with the COVID pandemic and rising prices on raw materials such as fuel and steel, it's no wonder farmers and ranchers are experiencing high levels of stress. More

Colorado AgrAbility is pleased to report that the Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health (CAAMHP) program is officially live, thanks to the support of Colorado Trust, Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation, and Energize Colorado. More
On May 6, over 60 Extension agents participated in training on rehabilitating farmers and ranchers. This is the first time staff were able to utilize their new mobile learning lab, which enables them to take trainings directly to groups across the state. More
On May 1, Georgia AgrAbility held a volunteer event for a farmer who experienced a back injury. During the time of rehabilitation, the client's greenhouses had fallen into disrepair. The local FFA chapter sent six students to participate in the day. More
KAP staff participated in design and implementation of a University of Kansas BREAK (Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering Advancement in Kansas) program through a student engineering capstone design project that was tasked with assisting a KAP client to improve his ag production by independently taking water out to grazing cattle and filling water tanks. More
The 2021 Four State Farm Show was the first large event that KAP staff and folks from the surrounding states have attended in many months. Show attendees were happy to cruise the show and visit with KAP staff, who demonstrated an adaptive rifle mount, riding saddle, and hand tools for the shop and garden. More
Kelley Spencer and Lani Carlson presented AgrAbility 101 via Zoom for the Maine Vocational Rehabilitation counselors from the western region of Maine on May 19. Ketra Crosson presented a similar AgrAbility 101 presentation during an all-staff meeting of Maine AgrAbility's subaward partner, Alpha One, on May 10.

During the week of May 10, ME AgrAbility hosted a Master of Science occupational therapy (MSOT) graduate student for her Level 1 fieldwork experience (ME AgrAbility's seventh student since April 2020). More

Based on feedback from students, staff have pivoted their B2B programming to better meet the needs of the aspiring veteran farmers. More

Maine AgrAbility's May 2021 article in Commercial Fisheries News is about knee pain and has an interview with Captain Linda Greenlaw. Click here to read the article.
Finally, staff are proud to share their project work on Managing Pain on the Farm: A Tool for Farmers, which includes a new publication, video, and webinar. Pain can often be a taboo topic, especially in physically demanding jobs like farming. More

Be sure to check out Maine AgrAbility's most recent news posts:
The First Annual Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) Golf Outing benefiting Michigan AgrAbility was a great success! The golf outing raised $9,000 for Michigan AgrAbility! More
The Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth announced at the beginning of the year that they chose Michigan AgrAbility as their charity for the entire year! The Michigan AgrAbility team is so excited to be working with Bavarian Inn. More
Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on: Mental Health Awareness Month, NTW workshop promotion, and Arthritis Awareness Month. Additionally, Missouri AgrAbility has been busy visiting farmers to capture soundbites, photos, and videos to build their media database and prepare for the AgrAbility 30th Anniversary.

Make sure to like and follow Missouri AgrAbility (@MOAgrAbility) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and their collaborative partners on Facebook: Missouri Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program, Heroes to Hives of Missouri, and Show-Me Strong Farm Families.

Elizabeth Picking, Missouri AgrAbility, visited an Amish community in her region to take pictures of assistive technology made for a farmer to use draft animals for farm work. More

April 30, Missouri AgrAbility in collaboration with the Show-Me Farm Safety Committee and Affiliate Social Media Partners kicked off the May Mental Health Awareness month "Together We Can" campaign, releasing its 2021 mental health toolkit with Morning Ag Clips press release.

Pharm to Farm, a Missouri AgrAbility partner, and UMKC School of Pharmacy have published electronic educational brochures for Missouri AgrAbility clients to educate about safe use of medicine on the farm. More

Missouri AgrAbility Project was highlighted as a partner by MU Extension health outreach specialist Chiquita Chanay who shared about resources and programs for Missouri farmers and ranchers during an Interprofessional Rural Health Panel for 35 student pharmacists enrolled in the rural health & agromedicine course at UMKC School of Pharmacy. More

Kelly Cochran, PharmD, BCPS, a Missouri AgrAbility partner, shared about partnerships to enhance farmer access to pharmacist services and highlighted collaborations with Missouri AgrAbility Project and University of Missouri Extension when teaching 25 health professions students at University of Iowa and 35 pharmacy students at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy for their respective Rural Health & Agricultural Medicine courses. More

Pharm to Farm and UMKC School of Pharmacy have developed podcasts for AgrAbility clients. More

Pharm to Farm and UMKC School of Pharmacy are collaborating to plan a rural health screening to serve over 200 individuals in an agricultural community with MU Schools of Medicine and Nursing as an Interprofessional Clinical Rural Immersion program. More

Lincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) MO AgrAbility events in May included developing storyboards, shooting videos, and taking pictures for several SMART technology e-publications for farmers and ranchers with physical disabilities.

An update on the Heroes to Hives Program was shared at the BIA-MO Networking Coffee in Springfield, Missouri, on May 20 with professionals in healthcare, rehabilitation, and community support services. This update included the fact that nearly 300 veterans, many with brain injury, are participating in the Heroes to Hives program that began in March 2021.
The Nebraska AgrAbility team is pleased to announce that after a two-year process in coordination with Nebraska Farm Bureau, LB 380 has passed in the Nebraska Legislature! LB 380 will provide $300,000 a year for the next two years specifically to be used for assistive technology for Nebraska farmers and ranchers with disabilities. More
Staff lined up an Action Trackchair demonstration for an AgrAbility client. This chair showed him so many ways that he could continue to be useful on the farm after a double lower amputation. More

Staff were busy working on the SRAP data information for the national team. During this time, the team started to further discuss better tracking systems. The team continues to search for one that will be the perfect fit (e.g., successful AgrAbility project practices, grants received, awards, training conducted).
North Carolina
May 1,NC AgrAbility Partnership participated in the Keeping Them Safe workshop. More

Beatriz Rodriguez presented the webinar "Como Prevenir Lesionarse" (Preventing Injuries) at the IHM International Club Learning Series in High Point, NC, May 15. Fifteen participants had the chance to learn, ask questions, and receive resources from NC AgrAbility.

In April and May, NC AgrAbility joined AgrAbility Virginia on a marketing effort to spread the word about AgrAbility among farmers in the western region of North Carolina and Virginia. More

May 28, DisAbility Partners hosted the NC AgrAbility Plant Day at the DisAbility Partners location. More

This journal article was published on April 27:
Minus, K., Woods, J., Roberts, R., English, C., & Rodriguez, B. (2021). Empowering the caregiver network of farmers with a disability: A case study of the North Carolina AgrAbility project. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 2(1), 95-106.
Ohio AgrAbility has been busy with outreach and engagement. Farmer visits and assessments are keeping the rural rehabilitation coordinators busy, and they are travelling the state, meeting new farmers, and checking in with established clients.
Gardening with arthritis continues to be a popular topic for presentations, and staff have been busy presenting, as well as updating presentations with new tools, techniques, and ideas for gardening with physical limitations. More
Ohio AgrAbility staff enjoyed presenting on caregiver resources for the NTW virtual sessions. Attendees created a word cloud which illustrates caregiving.

OAP staff offered a webinar on GenerationRx and safe medication practices June 9. The speaker focused on the Generation Rx Older Adult module, but people of all ages could benefit from the information and training offered by GenerationRx.
The month of May has meant more assessments and evaluations with farmers, planning for future virtual and in-person events, and continuing outreach activities as Pennsylvania shifts from spring to summer. Looking forward to the season ahead!
AgrAbility PA Project Director Suzanna Windon collaborated on an NTW virtual presentation on stress and mental health in farmers. This session taught attendees the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as several mindfulness techniques. Watch the session HERE.
AgrAbility PA staffers Abbie Spackman and Kendra Martin presented at Rodale Institute to interns, researchers, and staff about how the project works with farmers and ag workers - including information on assistive technology, services available to all farmers, and resources specific to new or beginning farmers and veterans interested in agriculture. More

AgrAbility PA staffer Jackie Wardle presented to occupational therapy students in Central Penn College's OT program and shared about the AgrAbility PA project and statewide AT resources available.
"Thank you is not enough words." Those were the first words TNAP staff member Joetta T. White heard as she exited her truck after TNAP customer Dennis Martin (livestock producer from Wayne County, TN) had used his new Polaris UTV for two weeks. More
TN AgrAbility joined with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) of TN for their one-year celebration as a state chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition in May! Activities included networking, sharing ideas, listening to the state of the chapter, and introducing the leadership representing East, Middle, and West TN. More

In Tennessee, a new effort aims to bring hope and intervention for farm stress. TNAP has partnered with Heather Sedges, PhD., an associate professor of human development in the UT Extension Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, the principal investigator of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network: Southern Region. More
Frontline Gardens founders Mike (TN AgrAbility farmer) and Stephanie Trost give back to our heroes who served on the front lines of the battlefield and to those law enforcement officers on the front lines here at home. Frontline Gardens are currently working on their ninth raised bed garden since the program started in December 2020 during a pandemic. More
Texas AgrAbility staff Makenzie Thomas joined a panel of presenters for the "Improving AgrAbility relationships with Vocational Rehab" NTW session. The session is recorded for viewing here.
BattleGround to Breaking Ground applications open for cohort 10 on June 7 and will close on July 14, 2021. For more information about the program and application deadlines, click here.

Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground have created an online course for beginning farmers and ranchers. The "Phase 1" course is now open and covers agriculture business basics, funding sources, resources for farmers and ranchers, a farmer/rancher panel, and rural business ideas. The course will be available to the public this summer.

Texas AgrAbility migrant & Hispanic farmworker coordinator Ellie Gandara-Castillo recorded an introduction to AgrAbility video in Spanish. The video will be uploaded to the Texas AgrAbility YouTube Channel and used to promote Texas AgrAbility to migrant and Hispanic farmworkers.
AgrAbility of Utah was able to provide online training to the staff of Roads to Independence on May 19. Roads to Independence is one of six independent living centers in the state and they provide services to Weber, Davis, and Morgan counties in Northern Utah.

On May 24, 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 nonprofits 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 20 farmer clients at various levels of engagement and need, including a cattle farmer with cerebral palsy in Bland County. AgrAbility staff will be helping install an automatic gate opener for the farmer on Monday, June 7. The gate opener was purchased using a $700 Easterseals UCP Bellows Fund award.

AgrAbility Virginia just finalized a brochure in Spanish and will be printing and disseminating it this summer. A version of the brochure is available on the website home page.

A draft of the 2021 AgrAbility Virginia program evaluation is being reviewed by the AgrAbility Virginia team before publication in June.

AgrAbility Virginia Program Coordinator Garland Mason is currently compiling data for the Y3 AgrAbility grant submission.

AgrAbility Virginia plans to attend the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA, being held October 19 -21.

AgrAbility Virginia is working with a high school volunteer on projects including a publication on ableism in agriculture for youth and a fact sheet on AT for diversified vegetable growers in Virginia.
The Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) team continues to construct a Pathway to Services resource and has provided various stakeholder groups with a survey and initial inquiry to learn about each other's services. An added result of this work is a coordinated effort partnership with the WSU tribal Extension liaison to serve Native American farmers, ranchers, and fishers.

WSAP is attending as many events, fairs, and field days this summer as are deemed safe and appropriate by Washington State University. The first of many is a three-county youth livestock sale June 4-5.

WSAP continues working with six incubator farms run by the WA Department of Veterans Affairs. Staff will be making farm visits including pop-up booth visits at each location with demonstrations of lending library tools.

WSAP's partnership with Ferry County Extension began with their lending library officially open for checkout. Staff are working to update their website and lending library policies and procedures so they are available online.

WSAP team members will have a table at Farmworker Health and Safety days throughout the summer. Run by SeaMar Health Clinics, these on-farm events allow for one-on-one interface with farmworkers where WSAP will highlight low-cost or DIY tool modifications and AT solutions.

Staff received notice that the WSAP article titled "Washington State AgrAbility: Building a New Extension Program During COVID-19," has been approved and is published in Vol 3 issue 13 by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA). Click here to read the article.
The Wisconsin staff are excited to get out and see people face-to-face, and are looking forward to doing that starting in June. More
AgrAbility for Africa
Many farmers faced with disabilities in Uganda and in the East and Central African region often will resort to unconventional solutions to find ways to perform their daily tasks because of lack of access to advanced solutions such as prosthetic limbs, walking aids, and lifting tools, among others. More
Dr Therese Willkomm, now a retired instructor from the University New Hampshire, donated the latest edition of her best-selling guide, Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes- Book III, to support AgrAbility for Africa staff efforts... More
Click titles below for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

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