March 2020
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
AgrAbility National Training Workshop - New Dates Set!
While it was a difficult decision, in response to the issues surrounding COVID-19 and requests to not gather in large groups, the AgrAbility NTW scheduled to begin on March 23rd was postponed.

The great news is that we were able to secure space at the same location for the dates November 30th - December 3rd, 2020! While none of the available dates at the hotel would have been our top picks, this is the date that the most people responded would work. Hosting the event before December 31st will allow those with flight reservations to re-book before the year-end deadline for most air travel.

Please look for communications from us regarding the re-scheduled event, updates to the conference website, rolling over conference registrations, and more! Thank you for your patience as we worked to re-schedule!
AgrAbility All-Staff Meeting. Join us April 15 at 2:30 p.m. Look for details coming in your inbox.
AgrAbility Webinar Series: "Smart technology in agriculture & the home: what is it and what is its impact on safety and efficiency?" Wednesday, April 8, 3:00 p.m. ET. The presenter will be Luke Cain, one of the NAP's OTD interns. More
The COVID-19 situation in the United States brings with it many questions and concerns. The CDC and local health organizations are the places to go for medical advice and assistance. ... However, 211 is the number to call to connect to area resources in your neighborhood. More
Are you having withdrawal from not seeing AgrAbility clients and other staff at the NTW? Click here to check out the six new What AgrAbility Means to Me videos that were just added to the NAP YouTube channel. They'll help you remember why you do what you do.
The National AgrAbility Project, along with the Indiana AgVet Project, INPREPared, the LIFE Project, and Life Essentials, exhibited at the 2020 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, February 12-15. Staff answered questions, distributed materials, and demonstrated the Life Essentials lift and Jiffy Hitch with the PTO hitch option.
Toolbox Spotlight
Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, the Cordless High-Torque Impact Wrench can reportedly deliver (depending on make/model) up to 1,000-foot-pounds of drilling or fastening torque and up to 1,400 foot-pounds of unfastening/loosening torque making it significantly faster and more powerful than a standard impact wrench. Being cordless, it's not restricted by the hoses or cords of pneumatic or corded models.
The Alaska AgrAbility team has a had a busy spring so far. The months of January & February held many events and weekend engagements.

On February 10-14, staff talked to attendees at a vendor fair, the Alaska Forum on the Environment, and were able to share information about the project during one of the event sessions. The event session was presented by Art Nash, DeShana York, and Tori Phipps.

CES hosted the annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Anchorage February 20-22 and AgrAbility participated with a vendor booth. More

On February 22, the Alaska Botanical Garden (ABG), located in Anchorage, hosted their annual Winter Conference again this year with a vendor fair and attendee sessions. More

The Alaska Cooperative Extension Service Delta District Office in collaboration with the Salcha-Delta Soil & Water Conservation District hosted their 48th annual Delta Farm Forum on February 29. More

The Spring Farmers Fair was held in Kasilof on February 29. This event was attended by representatives from Assistive Technology of Alaska.

Alaska AgrAbility non-profit partner, Assistive Technology of Alaska (ATLA), is moving to a new location. Their new address after March 1st is 1500 W. 33rd Ave., Suite 120, Anchorage, AK. 99503. They are excited about their new expanded space.
The 5 Healthy Steps for the Prevention of Diabetes novela is finally here! Check out the English and Spanish versions here. This novela follows a father who showed symptoms of diabetes, which led to his diagnosis. The father learns how to manage his diabetes with the support of his family. More
Staff did outreach at the Farmer Veteran Coalition's California conference at California State University, Fresno. More
California AgrAbility had an information booth at the Black Farmers Conference with Urban Farmers: Growing Together in Fresno, CA. The event was hosted by the USDA in partnership with the West Fresno Family Resource Center. More
Sometimes just a little bit of hope is all it takes to move forward. USAF veteran John Scoggins met with Colorado AgrAbility Project Rehabilitation Specialist Jim Craig at a Chatfield Gardens workshop and invited Jim to meet with him off-site for further conversation about the project. More
They are over for another year! Colorado's Winter Workshops made a strong finish in Greeley CO with the final workshop of the year hosted at the local Extension office on the fairgrounds. More
Georgia AgrAbility staff and more than 700 people attended the Georgia Organics Conference on February 7. More
On February 11-12, staff attended the Georgia Grown symposium, a two-day event packed full of informational sessions and an all-day farm tour to visit agritourism operations in the middle Georgia area. More

Staff met February 4 with the NRCS state conservationist and assistant state conservationist to tell them about the Georgia AgrAbility project and to share about clients who are currently involved in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with NRCS.

Georgia AgrAbility was the featured speaker of the February Young Farmers meeting in Effingham County where they gave a presentation about the AgrAbility project.
Georgia AgrAbility staff members have been meeting with local Extension offices to make sure they are aware of the Georgia AgrAbility Project and to let them know more of how the staff can be of service to the local farming community.
AgrAbility of Illinois staff shared program information at the 2020 Southwestern Illinois Commercial Tree Fruit School on Tuesday, February 4, in Hardin, and at the 2020 Southern Illinois Fruit and Vegetable School on Wednesday, February 5, in Mt. Vernon.

Staff also attended the Illinois Pork Expo on February 5 and the Ag Mech's Club 50th Annual Farm Expo in Macomb, IL.
Indiana AgrAbility hosted the project's advisory team on February 24. The meeting was to obtain feedback on current activities and to receive input and suggestions for moving forward and for funding opportunities. More

Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, attended the quarterly meeting of the Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services home modification and farm modification workgroup. More

The Indiana Horticulture Conference was held in Indianapolis at the Marriott East Hotel and Conference Center. More
The Women Managing the Farm Conference was held February 13-14 in Manhattan, KS. Since 2005, this event has been bringing together women farmers, rural business leaders, and landowners. More

Karin Rasmussen with KAP presented Kansas AgrAbility's "Maintaining Your Role on the Farm" at the Garden City, KS, Ag Women of the Heartland Day on February 28th. Karin hosted an interactive exhibit with a number of "low-tech" ergonomic items.

Central Kansas KAP AT Ag Specialist Cassie Ramon attended the Women in Ag event in Overbrook, KS February 27th. More
Maine AgrAbility is into month two of Boots-2-Bushels (B2B): Boot Camp for Military Veteran Market Gardeners & Farmers. This is a nine-month market gardening education and training program for military veterans and their family members. More

On February 11, Ellen Gibson presented a "Gardening Forever: Adaptive Strategies" workshop in Falmouth for Cumberland County residents. Ellen introduced ergonomic tools and techniques to keep flowers blooming and vegetables ripening while keeping aches and pains at bay.

On February 22, Richard Brzozowski staffed the AgrAbility display at the Wild Blueberry Conference in Bangor. The event drew about 150 people. More

On February 29, Maine AgrAbility hosted its first farm theater event at the Waldo County annual meeting. Staff used the material titled "A new way to deliver health and safety information to farm families,"... More

February 2020 was filled with helpful webinars hosted by one of Maine AgrAbility's partner networks, Maine CITE. More
Michigan AgrAbility was once again blessed by the efforts of Alpha Gamma Rho Tau Chapter at Michigan State University through their annual Beef Preview Show. More than 500 head of cattle were exhibited during the event held February 7-9. More
Sigma Alpha at MSU has selected AgrAbility for their philanthropy project, dedicating their annual 5K Duck Race profits to AgrAbility. The race will be held on March 29 and includes a raffle for a Yeti cooler and other cool gifts. More
The following activities are a snapshot of those that addressed the specialized needs of AgrAbility customers in Missouri during the month of February. Missouri AgrAbility continued to build service capacity across the state and at the local levels through education and networking. More
The University of Missouri Extension, Missouri AgrAbility, Missouri Botanical Gardens, and GDS Associated, Inc., Engineering and Consultants from Wisconsin, offered three grant-funded Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm Bill water quality and energy efficiency workshops. More
The Tri County Dairy Day was offered February 7 to Mennonite producers at the Show Me Auctions in Versailles, Missouri. Attendees learned about ventilation, dairy financial survey & price outlook, FARM 4.0... More

University of Missouri Extension AgrAbility staff also participated in the roundtable discussion " How to accommodate students with disabilities and other supporters" sponsored by the College of Human Environmental Sciences on February 19.
"Raising awareness one screening at a time" was the theme of this year's Western Farm Show's Health & Safety Roundup. The Health & Safety Roundup, February 21-23 at the American Royal in Kansas City, MO, offered an array of health screenings that were free or had a nominal fee. More

Missouri AgrAbility focused their social media efforts on developing health, safety, and wellness posts for American Heart Month, sleep health, electrical safety, National Grain Bin Safety Week, and their attendance at the Western Farm Show... More
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy (UMKC SOP), a Missouri AgrAbility collaborator, provided health screenings and education at the Western Farm Show on February 22nd in Kansas City at the American Royal Complex. Twenty-three students and five pharmacists from Kansas City and Columbia campuses facilitated outreach education and wellness screenings for attendees. More

Lincoln University's Cooperative Extension (LUCE) Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) in collaboration with the University of Missouri Extension Missouri AgrAbility Project was busy throughout the month of February...educating farmers across the state at five different venues... More

Maureen Cunningham with the Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) discussed the Missouri AgrAbility Project with survivors of brain injury and family members at support groups in Joplin and North Kansas City, Missouri, on February 11.

Information about AgrAbility was also shared during the BIA-MO Support Group held in St. Charles, Missouri on February 13.
Staff members were able to tour a facility in Fairbury, Nebraska, called Prairie View Industries. PVI is a leading builder in ramps for individuals with mobility impairments as well as kitchen equipment. Nebraska AgrAbility invited PVI to be a vendor at the National Training Workshop.
Nebraska AgrAbility hosted the annual advisory board meeting February 19 in Kearney. As always, the weather was not quite cooperating, but 15 board members participated either by ZOOM or in person. More
Women in Ag in Kearney was a big hit again this year. All the rooms were packed with women eager to learn about new things. More
Emily attended several events in February including the monthly veteran's meeting and a Continuum of Care meeting in Norfolk, the Beginning Farmer/Rancher Meeting in Lincoln, the Assistive Technology Partnerships meeting on the ReUse Program, and the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association Course. More
North Carolina
NC AgrAbility Partnership participated as an exhibitor at the 2020 Southern Farm Show in Raleigh, NC, on February 25-27. The SFS included over 400 exhibiting companies, making this event one of the largest agricultural expositions in the Carolinas and Virginia. More
On February 8, NC AgrAbility Partnership participated as an exhibitor at the 2020 NC Agritunity Conference in Statesville, NC. Over 270 participants were able to receive information about the program and how to refer themselves or others to the program. More
NC AgrAbility Partnership was one of the exhibitors at the 2020 Small Farms Opportunities in Franklin County on February 8. More than 150 farmers attended the event to learn more about the production of different commodities, composting, and more. More
On February 11, NC AgrAbility participated as an exhibitor at the Hemp Conference at NCA&T's campus in Greensboro, NC. Around 300 participants attended the event. Farmers, students, educators, and other stakeholders had the opportunity to learn about the NC AgrAbility program and register to the NC AgrAbility listserv.

NC AgrAbility started a collaborative work with Dr. Jason Ward, professor of analytical methods in engineering design at NC State University. More

NC AgrAbility farmer Suzanne Ramsey has received direct services from NC AgrAbility, but she was not eligible to receive financial services from Vocational Rehabilitation. NC AgrAbility has been trying to put together other financial resources to help her acquire the assistive technology recommended. More
On February 24 and 25, NC AgrAbility participated as a presenter at the 2020 NC AgriShop Series at the Watauga County and Madison County Cooperative Extension offices. More

NC AgrAbility attended the Community Garden Workshop February 29 and had a chance to talk about how to prevent injuries while farming and gardening. Staff also explained the benefits of learning about body mechanics and the use of ergonomic tools. More
Ohio AgrAbility partnered with the Ohio State University College of Nursing and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to form the Caregiver Support Network and held a workshop: "Building Resilience, Sharing Resources," on February 22. More
AgrAbility PA staff members Abbie Spackman and Kendra Martin presented in two sessions during PASA's Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference. Abbie provided AgrAbility information and an overview of holistically managing farm stress as part of a panel discussion, "Therapeutic Farming." More

AgrAbility PA staff member Abbie Spackman and AgrAbility PA's occupational therapist Dwight Heller provided a two-hour training session to PA's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. More
AgrAbility PA staff member Abbie Spackman provided a "Farm Safety and Family Wellness" training to members of the District 12 PA Farm Bureau during their regional conference. Over 20 farmers attended the session. More
The 2020 Pick TN Conference was the site for the Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN chapter formation stakeholders meeting. TN AgrAbility was placed on the advisory board to help increase the growing number of disabled veterans who wish to start or return to careers in the agriculture sector. More

TNAP staff attended the rural health and safety Progressive Ag Safety Day training. Progressive Agriculture Safety Day's primary focus was on farm safety for the last 25 years but is now turning attention to the overall health of children living in rural and agricultural communities. More
TNAP was seen at the West TN and Middle TN Grain Conferences (five counties interested in a grain bin rescue class organized by TNAP and TARS) and Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts and presented at the 2020 Farm School for Lake and Obion Counties (three referrals).

TNAP met with Wayne County Vocational Rehabilitation counselors and an agricultural producer. More
Texas AgrAbility visited Down Home Ranch, a residential ranch for individuals with developmental disabilities. The residents live and work there for wages. Their jobs consist of everything from horse care to cleaning and helping in the greenhouse. More

Texas AgrAbility staff visited with the Texas Workforce Commission's Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program to develop outreach to migrant and Hispanic farmers and farm workers in Texas. Ellie Gandara-Castillo will be organizing outreach efforts for Texas AgrAbility at regional Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program events.
Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground hosted a webinar titled "Strategic Winter Supplementation Programs". More
The "Tax Considerations for Farms and Ranches" webinar recording was made available through the Texas AgrAbility YouTube channel. Jason Morgan, retired Marine major and financial consultant, hosted the one-hour webinar. More
BattleGround to Breaking Ground graduated 15 participants in Gatesville. Participants completed 16 weeks of business planning coursework, developed a comprehensive agriculture business plan, completed 100 hours of hands-on training with a mentor, and participated in online agriculture production courses.
Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground will be hosting a webinar titled "Ideas for Starting Rural Agriculture Businesses" on March 19. More

Three "Food Safety for Military Veterans" workshops have been scheduled across the state for the spring and summer. More

Four "Introduction to Agriculture Business" workshops will be hosted throughout Texas in the spring and summer. The workshops are geared toward military veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers... More
On February 4, Randall Bagley presented at the Northern Utah Fruit Growers Meeting in Brigham City, Utah. More

Michael Porter attended the Utah Farm and Food Conference in Cedar City, Utah, on February 7-8 and set up a display table with brochures. Michael shared AgrAbility information to many of the 180 attendees.

AgrAbility of Utah's Michael Porter attended Alfalfa U. on February 11 and staffed a display table. The conference was held in St. George, UT, and was attended by over 90 farmers and ranchers from Southern Utah.

Randall Bagley attended the Cache County Crop School in Logan, UT, and gave a brief presentation on AgrAbility of Utah's services. The event was held on February 11 and had over 60 attendees.

AgrAbility of Utah attended both the Southern and Northern Utah Soil Health Workshops in Richfield and Brigham City, UT, and gave brief presentations. More
AgrAbility Virginia co-hosted an agritourism safety in Virginia webinar conducted by Livvy Preisser (Virginia Cooperative Extension agent at Isle of Wight County) on February 12th as part of the collaborative efforts with the Farm Safety, Health, and Wellness project.

The AgrAbility Virginia team conducted outreach to farmers at the No-Till Alliance 2020 Harrisonburg Winter Conference held on February 18th in Harrisonburg, VA.

On February 20-21, AgrAbility Virginia's field coordinator, Jeremy Daubert, gave a presentation on addressing farm stress at the 2020 Women in Agriculture Gathering held in Goochland, Virginia.

AgrAbility Virginia's partnership with the Farm Safety, Health, and Wellness project published five "farm stress" case studies and created a factsheet for educators to address the connections among farm safety, mental health, and wellness in their communities.
AgrAbility partners co-organized farm dinner theatres focusing on farm stress and safety in Madison and Russell counties on February 20th and 22nd, respectively. Dr. Deborah Reed from the University of Kentucky is a partner on this project, leading the post-theater discussions.
The Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) hosted a table at the Spokane Ag Expo in Spokane, WA, with numerous attendees. Assistive technology specialist Curt Johnson with program partner Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) staffed the booth and demonstrated assistive technology devices on display.
WSAP was presented alongside complementary mental and behavioral health programming at the Washington State University Extension All Unit meeting in Spokane, WA, both as part of a poster presentation session and as part of a presentation on agricultural stress and suicide prevention.

WSAP was also presented at the Western Washington Potato Workshop held at the Washington State University Mt. Vernon Research and Extension Center with farmers, companies, and agencies present. Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents reported hearing about AgrAbility for the first time.

Washington State AgrAbility Project team members are headed to Madison in March and looking forward to connecting with other programs.
The first-year Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) has hired a coordinator, Kristen VanValkenburg, to conduct educational trainings and worksite assessments. Kristen has an extensive background in agriculture, as she was raised on a farm, which fueled her passion for agricultural education as a teacher in the high school classroom and then in the private sector working with the Washington Farm Bureau and Washington Agriculture in the Classroom.
AgrAbility of Wisconsin is excited to welcome a new student program assistant to the team. Jenna Langrehr is a junior at UW-Madison studying dairy science and life science communications. She grew up deeply rooted in agriculture on her family's dairy farm in West Salem, WI, where they have Holsteins and registered Guernseys. She will be working with us a few hours per week focusing on social media, blog posts, articles, and photography.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

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