March 2022
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
2022 NTW: Just a few days away!!! We are all so excited to be able to see each other in person again.

Things to remember:
  1. Put together your State Raffle Basket. The state raffle baskets have been a hit the last two years. Put together a basket with items from your state or any theme that you would like, and let's see whose basket gets the most tickets.
  2. Bring auction items. Don't forget to bring those auction items. You can fill out a description sheet ahead of time to bring with your item.
  3. Bring a snack to share in the Hospitality Suite. We love to have items specific to your state to snack on in the hospitality suite.
  4. GET READY TO HAVE SOME FUN as you increase your professional development.

If you have any questions, contact us anytime.
Planning for the Regional Event in Columbus, OH, is coming along. More information will be coming out after the NTW. Stay tuned!

The AgrAbility/North Central FRSAN webinar "Tensions of Farm Succession" has been archived at

The March 2 all-staff meeting recording is available at
The National AgrAbility Project, Purdue's Gearing Up for Safety youth ag safety program, Good Days Work (OSHA training for ag), and Life Essentials participated together as exhibitors at the 2022 National Farm Machinery Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, on February 16-19. More
Toolbox Spotlight
Workers with leg, arm, and back impairments can feed calves in hutches or pastured livestock with a Feed and Water Transport Wagon. Feed and water can be dispensed directly to troughs without lifting and carrying buckets by hand. The towable wagon consists of a feed hopper and a water tank (both polyester) mounted on a rubber-wheeled steel frame with hitching tongue. Custom-built according to users’ needs, hopper sizes range from .8 to 2.8 tons and tank sizes from 250 to 275 gallons. Unloading the feed is accomplished via an electric or hydraulic motor connected to the towing vehicle, while the water is dispensed via a gas-powered pump or gravity-flow through a hose.
Alaska AgrAbility non-profit partner ATLA is providing a free Assistive Technology Virtual Expo from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. AKT (1 p.m. - 4 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, April 20th and Thursday, April 21st. More

The statewide seven-part series titled "From the Ground Up," which was a partnership between AKAgrAbility, Kenai Peninsula Soil & Water Conservation District, and Cooperative Extension, concluded on March 1st. More

Art Nash taught a four-part series noncredit course titled "Adaptive and Enabled Garden Growing" throughout February for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) based in Fairbanks, Alaska. More

AKAgrAbility will be participating in a new FishAbility working group. So far, participating SRAPs consist of Maine, Washington, and Michigan. More
California AgrAbility staff attended the 20th annual month-long Healthy Aging Education Series, part of the UC Davis Healthy Aging Initiative. More

California AgrAbility staff met with Clinica Tepati representatives, a non-profit student-run clinic in Sacramento, California, to discuss the offering of arthritis exercise classes to clinic patients. More
California AgrAbility staff participated in the 2022 Capay Valley Almond Festival. Staff introduced the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) and presented on AgrAbility services. More
On February 22nd, Georgia AgrAbility staff participated in a panel on "Future Innovations in Agriculture and Sustainability." The panel was part of the Future of Georgia Summit hosted by the Georgia Chamber. More

On February 18, AgrAbility staff attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Conservation District monthly meeting and told the attendees about AgrAbility services in Georgia.
On February 28th, AgrAbility staff got to try out a new drone purchased by one of its state partners. The drone will be used for assistive technology demonstrations on clients' farms. It will be beneficial for cattle farmers who experience mobility issues when checking cattle and fence lines.
Indiana AgrAbility consultant Steve Etheridge and Chuck Baldwin, project manager, staffed a booth February 4-5 at the Northern Indiana Grazing Conference in Shipshewana. In spite of the harsh winter weather, a new attendance record was set for the event with 2,267 visitors, who were primarily Amish or Plain farmers, along with exhibitors and program speakers. More
Ed Sheldon and Chuck Baldwin have been presenting AgrAbility to groups of urban BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color) farmers thanks to one of AgrAbility's partners. John Jamerson, director of the LIFE Project (USDA 2501 grant) that has the National AgrAbility Project as a partner, has been working with NRCS and other USDA agencies to produce a series of one-day conferences in Indiana for these urban farmers. More
Kansas AgrAbility Project (KAP) enjoyed interacting with attendees at another Women Managing The Farm Conference in Manhattan, Kansas. Staff provided an interactive exhibit with one-hand gate latches, AT devices and tools, and a riding saddle featuring a back support. More

Tawnie Larson, KAP project coordinator, participated in a feature segment with Agriculture Today, the Kansas State University Radio Network, to discuss the recent
KAP fact sheet titled "Managing Stress: Tips and Resources". More

Kansas AgrAbility was invited to present in the state-wide "Risk Management Skills for Kansas Women in Agriculture" series sponsored by K-State Research and Extension (KSRE) and the Department of Agricultural Economics. More
Maine AgrAbility currently has a master's OT student doing her 12-week, level 2 fieldwork experience with them. Corey Young, University of New England (UNE), grew up on a dairy farm in southern Maine. More

2022's Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners and Farmers has finished the first two months of programming covering topics like safe food handling, crop planning, and small fruit and vegetable production. More
Maine's first month of Who's Got Your Back blog posts focused on fishing-related work tasks, counter stretches, and resources to encourage better health to minimize injury and pain. More

Staff have been busy sharing Maine AgrAbility resources to a variety of audiences: talking to OT students about AT ideas at UNE, beginning farmers as part of UMaine Cooperative Extension's "So You Think You Want to Farm in Maine? ," and veterans participating in B2B sessions. More
The famous Bavarian Inn Restaurant in Frankenmuth, Michigan, selected Michigan AgrAbility as its annual charity for 2021. Throughout the year, Bavarian Inn held fundraising events and gathered donations. Employees contributed through designated giving. More
Missouri AgrAbility focused its social media efforts on continuing its MO AgrAbility team campaign, Grain Bin Safety Week, American Heart Month, and promotion of MU Extension and partner programs. More

MU Extension and its Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) collaborative partner and brain injury stakeholders developed the Brain Injury Awareness Month Promotional Toolkit and shared it with cooperative organizations and stakeholders. More

Missouri AgrAbility staff continue to provide fee-for-service direct onsite farmstead assessments for Missouri's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Services for the Blind. More

Missouri AgrAbility offered its third education-based program to agricultural professionals and collaborative partners with a focus on mental health and farmers with disabilities. More
Nebraska Farm Bureau recently hosted its annual Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Conference in Kearney. The YF&R program is composed of men and women ages 18-35 who are Farm Bureau members and looking to develop their leadership skills while also meeting and networking with their peers. More
Staff provided a booth for outreach and presented at the Women in Ag conference in Kearney. The "Communicating with Farmers Under Stress" workshop was presented to approximately 50 women in various ag professions.
New Mexico
Annie's Project, a six-week course designed for women in agriculture, was hosted in northeast New Mexico. Sonja Koukel, New Mexico AgrAbility (NMAP) project director, provided an overview of the national and state AgrAbility projects and shared resources with the 24 attendees.

Mandy's Farm, a NM AgrAbility team member, has begun design and implementation of universal signage, an automated greenhouse watering system, and an adaptive compost turner that will be used to model best-practices to apprentice farmers.
North Carolina
NC AgrAbility Partnership was an exhibitor at the 2022 Southern Farm Show in Raleigh, NC, from February 2-4. The participation of the Farmer Veteran Coalition was a success in helping attract more veterans to NC AgrAbility. More

NC AgrAbility participated at the farmworker welcoming event and vaccination campaign at the NC Growers Association meeting on Saturday February 26. Farmworkers had the opportunity to receive resources to help them stay healthy and safe while working on the farms.
Ohio AgrAbility presented information on OAP services, vocational rehabilitation, and accommodating farmers with disabilities to a class of occupational therapists at Wilmington College. More

Ohio AgrAbility, Kansas AgrAbility, and Alaska AgrAbility recently wrote a self-determined 4-H project publication: Disability Advocacy and Awareness, which has been published on the Ohio State University Extension 4-H website: More
February brought several opportunities to further outreach initiatives as well as educational presentations.

Outreach Initiatives:
  • Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention:
  • Lebanon County Livestock and Crop Day:
  • PA Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Conference: More
Educational Presentations:
  • Staffers Abbie Spackman, Linda Fetzer, and Kendra Martin the statewide sustainable agriculture conference, Pasa.
  • PI Dr. Suzanna Windon presented at the Southern AAAE Conference
  • Staffers Abbie Spackman and Linda Fetzer presented in the BRS 426 (Biorenewable Systems) undergraduate class at Penn State University.
  • Staffer Abbie Spackman taught high school ag students from 7th-12th grade about AgrAbility and assistive technology More
TN AgrAbility exhibited and assisted the Extension team during a presentation at one of the sessions for the Pick TN Conference 2022 "Lunch and Learn: How Extension Agents and Specialists Can Help." The 2022 conference was the two-year anniversary celebration of the Tennessee Chapter of Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC). More
TN AgrAbility's disability non-profit partner, the STAR Center, presented at the fourth session for the new online learning opportunity: Master Farm Family and Health Wellness Program (MFFHW). More

TN AgrAbility is working to reach new Extension staff through quarterly "Assistive Technology Tuesday" Zoom webinars. More

TN AgrAbility presented at one of the Progressive Agriculture Safety Days "Booster Session: Welcoming Participants & Volunteers with Special Needs". More
TN AgrAbility set up their display at the Middle & West TN Grain Conferences in February. These conferences were for agriculture producers to receive information on corn and soybeans.

Humboldt Lions Club asked for TN AgrAbility to attend its February meeting to present an AgrAbility and grain bin program. More
Sixty rescue personnel and ag producers from Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Grundy, Rutherford, and Warren counties attended the TN Grain Bin Safety/Rescue Awareness training. More
Texas AgrAbility staff will be presenting two sessions at the AgrAbility NTW: "Working with Capstone Students to Augment AgrAbility Services" and "How Do We Educate Military Veterans as Successful Beginning Farmers."

Texas AgrAbility team members Erin Kimbrough and Makenzie Thomas completed a farm visit for a hay and cattle farmer in central Texas. The assessment was used as a training opportunity for the Texas AgrAbility occupational therapy intern, Maggie Mencer.
Texas AgrAbility staff Makenzie Thomas, Faye McGuire, and intern Maggie Mencer presented Texas AgrAbility to the University of St. Augustine occupational therapy class. Forty students were educated on available AgrAbility services and assistive technology options for farmers and ranchers with disabilities.

Staff met with Joe Ricker, intern and DoD (Department of Defense) Skillbridge program participant with NAP, to discuss opportunities for other AgrAbility projects to incorporate active-duty military interns in their project.
AgrAbility of Utah staff attended and presented at the Northern Utah Fruit Growers Association winter meeting on Feb. 3. The meeting was sponsored by Utah State University Extension and was held in Brigham City, Utah.

On Feb. 8, staff attended and presented at a Crop School Class in Logan, Utah. Crop School Classes are sponsored and taught by Utah State University Extension, and topics include weed, pest, water, fertilizer, and other agronomic management techniques.

AgrAbility staff attended and set up a booth at the Soil Health in the West Conference in St. George, UT, on Feb 16-17. The staff was able to visit with many of the 300-plus farmers who attended. The conference had many sponsors including the United States Department of Agriculture and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

AgrAbility staff obtained valuable information at the suicide prevention seminar that was sponsored by the Cache County Suicide Prevention Coalition. The topic was "Suicide Safe Messaging" and was well-attended by community organizations in northern Utah.
AgrAbility Virginia is currently working with 31 farmer clients at various levels of engagement and need, including a farmer from Warren County recovering from COVID.

AgrAbility Virginia will be sending a group to the National Training Workshop in Madison, WI.

Staff are working to partner with the Virginia Association of Nurse Practitioners to expand outreach to medical professionals across the state.

AgrAbility Virginia is developing a plan to partner with large farm animal veterinarians across the state for expanded outreach and referrals.
The Washington AgrAbility Project launched another three-month social media campaign with Cherry Creek Media specifically targeting rural communities. Web traffic and social media likes, reaches, and views doubled each month of the last campaign.

WSAP participated in a statewide Farm Bureau RETRO safety workshop February 23rd explaining the program and services of AgrAbility.

Northwest Access Fund, in cooperation with WSAP, is launching a series of four webinars titled "So you’ve had a farm injury? What next.": More
Welcome to Madison! To all of you attending the 2022 National Training Workshop, we are happy to have you here in our great state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin AgrAbility staff have been working with the planning committee to help make this year's NTW a great success. We hope you enjoy your time in Madison.

Throughout late February and early March, staff attended the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, and met with the Farmer Veteran Coalition of WI and the VA Farms and Gardens program through the Madison VA Hospital.

The staff has started to plan their annual AgrAbility Summit that will happen in early April.
AgrAbility for Africa
AgrAbility for Africa has been doing outreach and visiting different disability support organizations and partners. Among them is Katalemwa Cheshire Home for Rehabilitation Services. More

In other efforts to expand capacity, outreach, and impact, staff opened talks with the Institute for Community Inclusion to explore possibilities in disability, vocational rehabilitation, and employment under the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement, a U.S. State Department project.
The Brain Injury Association-MO welcomes two new staff members to implement Missouri AgrAbility activities. Trista Lewis will serve as the office administrator with responsibilities that include Brain Injury Fact of the Day, office operations, and marketing. Trista is an Army veteran with experience in digital marketing, sales, and office administration. Bessie Cox is the new BIA-MO program manager with responsibilities that include community resource services, one-on-one technical assistance with AgrAbility clients, and outreach education for farmers with brain injury. Bessie has experience in mental health services, case management, and computers.
The Nebraska AgrAbility team welcomes new team member Soni Cochran! Soni has worked with Nebraska Extension for 29 years. She has statewide roles as the community engagement and wellness associate, and interim disaster education coordinator. Soni grew up on a family farm and is passionate about supporting rural families and veterans.
New Mexico
NMAP wishes to say goodbye to Dr. Carla Wilhite who has moseyed along to become the program director at Colorado Mesa University's occupational therapy program. Thank you, Dr. Wilhite, for all you have done to promote better understanding of the needs of food producers in the state of New Mexico.

NMAP wishes to welcome Dr. Patricia (Trish) Siegel, assistant professor, and Mary Thelander Hill, lecturer II, both with the New Mexico University Occupational Therapy Graduate Program to the grant. Dr. Siegel, who is an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, will focus on educational outreach. Ms. Thelander Hill will focus on direct farmer intervention and supervising OT students in the community.
North Carolina
NC AgrAbility welcomes
  • Dr. Crystal Cook Marshal, NC AgrAbility partnership director and NC Agromedicine Institute coordinator. She holds a Ph.D. in science and technology studies of society. She has vast experience working in different sectors and multidisciplinary projects.
  • Kelsey Kilgore, NC AgrAbility field agent. An OT, M.S., Kelsey has experience in rehabilitation and education. She also has some farming experience and involvement with the Horticulture Therapeutic Group of NC.
AgrAbility Director Dr. Kim Niewolny was recently awarded a Southern Extension Region Risk Management Education Center Project of Excellence award for a "Farm Stress, Wellness, and Safety Education" initiative in which AgrAbility Virginia played a central role.
WSAP welcomes Emily Gilquist to our staff. She grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and moved to the Skagit Valley five years ago to pursue a career in small-scale agriculture. She now owns a small farm where she raises eggs and lamb and is passionate about building community and growing everything. Emily is excited to be joining the WSU Extension team to help make agricultural work healthier and more accessible!
Click titles below for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, [email protected]

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