May 2020
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
AgrAbility NTW Version 2.0
Plans for the re-scheduled AgrAbility National Training Workshop are well under way! Contracts have been re-negotiated, speakers re-scheduled, and participants looking forward to a gathering kicking off on November 30th. More
Put 2-1-1 in Your Toolbox! Stress over things that are out of our control is nothing new to farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers. To say that today's conditions have added to that stress is an understatement. More

Carla Wilhite is assembling a working group to develop a National AgrAbility curriculum that can be shared as an open source to educate rehabilitation professionals (OT, PT, speech, nursing, case managers, VR) about the rehabilitation needs of farmers and ranchers with health conditions. If you're interested, contact Carla at
The AgrAbility webinar, "Disability and Agriculture Outside the U.S. – an International Panel Discussion," is now archived with the presentation materials at

The archive of the AgrAbility all-staff meeting of May 15 is available at along with presentation materials from AgrAbility in Georgia on virtual farm visits.
Toolbox Spotlight
With the Towed Single-Bale Mover , one can reportedly load, transport, and unload a big round bale from the seat of his/her tractor, pickup, or UTV - all via hand-held controller. Both the Tumblebug and the 2EZ Bale Mover accomplish this task but do so differently.
April brought an increase in virtual engagements as in so many other states due to COVID-19. AK AgrAbility PI Art Nash and Project Director DeShana York teamed up to provide two "Gardening for Life: Adding Accessibility" series, April 7-9 and April 27-29. More
With snow melting and spring in the air (FINALLY) ATLA also featured accessible gardening in their most recent electronic newsletter.
With the COVID-19 pandemic gravely impacting farmers, AgriSafe has hosted weekly think tanks to disseminate resources and ideas rapidly to help farmers. More
AgrAbility staff have been busy providing face coverings for farmers and farmworkers. With the pandemic, Cheree Schiele, from Extension's Master Food Preservers, started making face coverings for local and regional hospitals. More

Staff also participated in the "AgrAbility's Smart Technology for Agriculture and the Home" webinar. More
Georgia AgrAbility staff members Mason Dean and Kyle Haney presented at the April 15 AgrAbility all-staff meeting. They were able to inform all state projects about initiatives and ways that the Georgia AgrAbility Project has been working with farmers virtually. Virtual capabilities have included Zoom meetings, FaceTime, and Google Duo. This has been a time for staff members to grow and learn with technology as they take on new ways of connecting with their farmers.
During the past month, Georgia AgrAbility staff have been designing and fabricating solutions for clients. Staff have completed a fold- away side bar for a Polaris Ranger that will allow a farmer to transfer from his wheelchair into the seat of a Polaris Ranger. The side bar can then be locked back in place in a matter of seconds.
Staff are also working on building an adjustable height table for another farmer. This food safe table will be used as a work surface to inoculate mushrooms and can be adjusted from a seated position to a standing position to accommodate the farmer's disabilities.
Illinois AgrAbility is developing and refining a new ADA-compatible website that will provide a more user-friendly experience and easy access to resources for clients and potential clients. Illinois AgrAbility is also collaborating with other state programs in researching potential client management systems to use in the future.
This has been a strange time of working remotely with travel restrictions. Not being able to meet with clients face-to-face while trying to develop a relationship is difficult. A phone call is not the same. More

Indiana AgrAbility's rural rehabilitation specialist took part in a Joining Community Forces Indiana zoom meeting. More

Steve Swain, Indiana rural rehabilitation specialist and Purdue Extension specialist, has participated in the weekly Purdue Extension Ag and Natural Resources Covid-19 Response zoom calls. More

Webinars and email traffic have increased and have presented the opportunity to expand knowledge and learn from others how to manage and work in this "new normal."
Kansas AgrAbility staff were invited to participate in four regional Vocational Rehabilitation staff and community service provider conference calls to discuss how they are providing services to consumers during the coronavirus stay-at-home orders. More
Karin Rasmussen, AT staff in Western Kansas, has utilized the Kansas Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) to assist a farmer in communicating with his seed buyers and other suppliers using an iPad. More
KAP AT staff is participating in a free online course from the AT Industry Association through their Learning Catalog.

KAP Coordinator Tawnie Larson has spent time with Connect Extension to utilize their content related to rural stress management and participated in the Impact Collaborative Virtual Summit. Larson encourages other AgrAbility staff to participate in this valuable tool available to Extension personnel.

In the next week, one of the KAP AT ag specialists is going to use satellite images to conduct an initial virtual walk of a farmstead with the farmer. More
Maine AgrAbility's Boots to Bushels (B2B) class continued via Zoom this month. The transition to the Zoom platform was smooth, having had several inclement weather days resulting in Zoom use since B2B started in January 2020. More

Staff are working with Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) to be part of its re-imagined Level 1 OT field-work experience for spring 2020. More
Maine AgrAbility has been meeting weekly via Zoom to keep a forward momentum as well as to support morale with a few laughs. Staff are developing new webinar presentations, reaching out to clients, and supporting network partners to develop relevant resources for Maine farmers.
Thank you Sigma Alpha! Sigma Alpha is the ag sorority, sister sorority to Alpha Gamma Rho, that does the beef preview show. They have an annual 5K Duck Race and a raffle. Unfortunately, the 5K had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, but they did have the raffle with some pretty cool gifts, including a Yeti cooler. More
Meet Jeremy Huffman! Jeremy was a sergeant in the Marine Corps. He has a lower back impairment and bending over for extended periods of time is painful. More
Michigan AgrAbility wants to thank all the workers in the agricultural sector for keeping America fed. Staff want these workers to stay healthy and safe! More
This month Missouri AgrAbility team members reviewed their standard operation procedures (SOPs) and updated their Protocol Service Delivery Manuals. During these unprecedented times, Missouri also continued to provide direct assistance and services to meet the needs of farmers, ranchers, and farm families.
Missouri team members also worked on developing a statewide social media campaign about mental health awareness and suicide prevention targeted to rural, agricultural communities. More

Coming off a busy month of March with Brain Injury Awareness Month, Missouri AgrAbility focused their social media efforts on promoting MU Extension rural health which includes mental health and suicide prevention, agriculture safety and wellness resources, online programs and webinars, and COVID-19 safety tips.
Kelly Cochran, PharmD, BCPS, a Missouri AgrAbility partner, shared about collaborations with Missouri AgrAbility Project while serving on a panel for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy Rural Track Pharmacy program in Rockford, IL. More

Lincoln University's Cooperative Extension (LUCE) Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) in collaboration with the University of Missouri worked throughout the month of April to implement new protocols allowing for on-farm assessments with clientele digitally via technology such as Apple Facetime, ZOOM, Facebook live, and Skype. More

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) support group in Columbia, MO, that serves potential Missouri AgrAbility clients with brain injury has meetings being offered via videoconferencing. This opportunity reduces the effects of isolation for all attendees.

MO AgrAbility partners MU Extension and the MO Beginning Farmers Program offered weekly online town hall meetings for networking with and educating farmers. This education opportunity was featured on the BIA-MO website home page and calendar.
The Nebraska AgrAbility loaner lift was quickly placed into service with long-time AgrAbility client Ruth Griess after an unfortunate accident badly damaged her Life Essentials tractor access lift. More
Online programs titled "Our Stress and Communicating with Those who are Stressing" for all FSA Nebraska districts, as well as an ATV Aware online program for the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District employees, were provided for hundreds of participants. More
In the works is a Nebraska AgrAbility farm safety coloring book!

Staff have been busy reaching out to clients, checking in on them and talking to them about resources available during the COVID-19 crisis, like Extension's coping resources at
New Mexico
New Mexico AgrAbility received a donation from Grow Your Food, a Canadian company promoting food growing. More

AgrAbility partner University of New Mexico-Occupational Therapy Graduate Program has received a $25,000 NIH pilot grant to study quality of life and perceptions of daily life of rural New Mexicans during the COVID-19 health emergency, More
North Carolina
During the COVID19 pandemic, NC AgrAbility Partnership has been working on providing resources to farmers through the NCA&T Cooperative Extension webpage, NC AgrAbility website, and its Facebook page. More

NC AgrAbility doctoral student Hagan Kiser from Mary Baldwin University prepared a poster about AgrAbility and Occupational Therapy. View it here.
Ohio AgrAbility staff are developing and presenting webinars on Ohio AgrAbility, assistive technology, and farming and gardening with arthritis to their farmers, stakeholders, and the Ohio agricultural and Ohio State University communities. More

OAP's rural rehabilitation coordinators have been working with farmers remotely, writing assessments for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (the state voc rehab agency), consulting with vendors on appropriate equipment and facility upgrades, and checking in on OAP's farmers - who are happy with the good spring weather, and are busy planting and tending their livestock.
AgrAbility PA staff have been busier than ever and are moving full speed ahead with client assistance, project planning, educational opportunities, and outreach opportunities. More
Andrew Snook's social media post went far and wide during the month of April - more than 90 shares, 100+ likes, and more than 13k impressions on Facebook alone! It also did very well on Instagram and Twitter. More

AgrAbility PA staff have been participating in a variety of educational and professional development opportunities. It is a great time to learn new things or dive deeper into a topic of interest. More
TN AgrAbility began working from home March 24, and although the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the way staff are working, TNAP remains committed to their farmers and thinking outside the box to communicate and teach. More

TNAP began updating promotional material. Staff ask that SRAPs please share their state brochures, photos of their displays, and best marketing materials with Thanks in advance.

TNAP has been participating in a weekly AgriSafe Network: COVID-19 Ag Task Force Response webinar. They have a collection of resources, references, and websites relating to COVID19 Response:

TNAP staff promoted National Grain Safety week and webinars with the #StandUP4GrainSafety campaign on social media.

TNAP is part of a grain bin safety and rescue/farm safety team and is supported by the TN Department of Agriculture. More

Recommendation of 2 informative webinars:
Texas AgrAbility updated the yearly project brief outlining goals achieved in 2019. The brief can be viewed here.

Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground have had to cancel in-person introduction to agriculture business workshops through June, but have planned for a virtual workshop. The virtual workshop will incorporate presentations, communities of interest, and resource sharing.

An "Intro to Agriculture Business" virtual workshop webinar series is planned for June 23 - July 7, 2020. The following sessions will be presented at the virtual workshop: More
The past month has been challenging but AgrAbility of Utah staff is contacting clients by phone and email to check their status and see how they are doing. More
Dr. Deborah B. Reed, PhD, FAAOHN, FAAN, RN, agricultural health nurse, and farm family member, presented a webinar that illustrated the relationships between stress, injury, and overall health among farmers. More
Garland Mason, AgrAbility coordinator, and Dr. Kim Niewolny created a Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication titled " Lawncare Safety for the Whole Family During COVID-19" which offers safety tips and links to several VCE publications on related topics. More
Five fictional case studies demonstrating the realities of farm stress with resources for families and practitioners have been posted online. Click here and select “Farm Safety, Health, & Wellness Case Studies” to find the resource guide and case studies for download. Infographics are being generated and are available on Facebook or Instagram.
Washington State AgrAbility Program (WSAP) hosted its first webinar April 7th facilitated by Curt Johnson, assistive technology specialist with Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP). Sixteen people participated from across the state.

WSAP staff is working on building a lending library based around specific injury sectors. However, distribution is postponed due to Covid-19.

WSAP staff is working on building Washington's home assessment portfolio and gathering forms, materials, and information for program participants.

WSAP is focusing on behavioral health and safety by participating in several webinars, including the most recent from MSU and Purdue on communicating with farmers under stress.
Greetings from Wisconsin, where the spring weather is helping get the farmers into the fields. AgrAbility of Wisconsin staff is working on setting up a webinar for anyone interested in learning more about FSA programs. The date is yet to be decided. Depending on the first webinar's success, staff plan to continue with different topics that would have originally been presented at the annual in-person summit.
AgrAbility for Africa
The staff of AgrAbility for Africa linked up with Mrs. Carolyne Maholo of CBR Africa Network (CAN) to enhance the organization's publicity and awareness campaign for the AgrAbility in Africa project. More
AgrAbility for Africa staff in partnership with Scientific Animations without Borders (SAWBO) are working on increasing awareness and safety information about COVID -19 to rural farmers in Uganda through localizing COVID-19 safety information. This sample animation video is produced with a voice-over by Ms. Emily Ayen, reigning "Miss Karamoja" (center in photo), into the Karamojong language, More
Kristen McHugh will be leaving AgrAbility to join UGA's Peanut Innovation Lab. The lab works with developing countries on improving peanut production and use, raising nutrition awareness, and increasing food safety practices. Join us in wishing Kristen well in her new venture.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

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