May 2022
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
AgrAbility all-staff virtual meeting. Save the date for Thursday, June 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
NEW WEBINAR DATE: NAP has changed the date for the AgrAbility/North Central FRSAN webinar "Veterans, Agriculture, and Stress" to Thursday, June 2 at 2:00 p.m. ET. This is due to an overlap with the USDA virtual conference "Sustainable Livelihoods and Behavioral Health: Strategies and Partnerships to Address Farm Stress and Suicide." Consider participating in both events.
Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about the 2023 NTW. Anyone interested in being on the planning committee is requested to send an email to Tess at, and she will add you to the planning committee list. A Doodle poll was sent out recently to the committee to schedule the first meeting, so anyone else interested in being a part should let Tess know as soon as possible. Contact - 585.447.9015 or
An AgrAbility regional workshop will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn Columbus Easton from June 28th-30th. Room reservations at the Hilton Garden Inn may be made by clicking HERE. The room block closes on May 27th, so don't miss out. More
Save the date: October 10th-13th, 2022, for a regional workshop in Reno, NV. More information to come. For any questions or if interested in hosting a regional workshop, contact Tess McKeel at or 585-447-9015.

Ned Stoller and Joe Ricker hosted a Zoom meeting on a Beekeeping Community of Interest (COI) on April 29th. The intent was to determine the breadth of organizations that have ideas for adaptive technology to assist veterans. More

National AgrAbility has started holding “virtual office hours” every first and third Wednesday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET. Contact if you need details.
Toolbox Spotlight
Designed for high-tensile inline fence wire splicing or post terminations, a Drill-Powered High-Tensile Wire Twisting Tool allows workers with hand or strength impairments to securely join and wrap overlapping fence wires together with professional-looking results. The geared device attaches to a 3/8-inch cordless drill.
Alaska AgrAbility's (AKAgrAbility's) partner agency, Assistive Technology of Alaska, hosted an "Assistive Technology Virtual Expo" across two days. Kyle Haney with the Georgia AgrAbility program provided a session on "Assistive Technology for Farmers and Rural Community Members."
Through a community challenge grant issued through Alaska AARP, Art Nash built a small variety of raised bed planter boxes and a trellis box at the Palmer Senior Center. More

AKAgrAbility staff provided information regarding assistive technology and services for agricultural workers to a variety of organizations including the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, More
California AgrAbility hosted the Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) Network quarterly meeting. Dr. Annie J. Keeney from San Diego State University's School of Social Work discussed findings from a recent project, "Occupational Stressors and Access to COVID-19 Resources Among Commuting and Residential Farmworkers." More
California AgrAbility staff attended the 2022 Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program Network. More

California AgrAbility staff joined representatives from local organizations and agencies at April's monthly RISE meeting. More
The Colorado State University Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity has been a supporter of the Colorado AgrAbility Project for many years. This year, on April 13, 2022, the AGR folks hosted a BBQ fundraiser at their fraternity house. CAP was invited to attend so James, Candy, and Jim made the trip to Fort Collins to enjoy some BBQ with the AGR and their supporters from the Sigma Alpha Sorority.
Georgia AgrAbility and the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network are partnering to address farmer stress. One of the pilot projects is called "Meet at the Shed," and it is a unique way of bringing people together to improve mental health through building a sense of community and belonging. More

On April 12th, Georgia AgrAbility held an advisory board meeting. There was a good turnout of board members representing various commodity organizations. They were very excited about all of the initiatives Georgia AgrAbility has underway.
An agricultural student group from the United Kingdom came to the University of Georgia Tifton Campus and requested to hear about AgrAbility. More

Staff enjoyed doing a virtual presentation titled "Assistive Technology for Farmers and Rural Community Members" at the Assistive Technology Expo hosted by Assistive Technology of Alaska (ATLA). Thanks to DeShana York with Alaska AgrAbility for inviting Georgia AgrAbility to do this presentation.

AgrAbility staff have been working on converting an enclosed trailer to a mobile cooling unit for a client. The client sells produce and vegetables directly to consumers at local farmers markets. More
Ed Sheldon, Indiana and NAP Extension outreach coordinator, represented Indiana AgrAbility at the March 19 Indiana Black Loam Conference in Bloomington, Indiana. Ed presented about AgrAbility's services to underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, distributed AgrAbility resources, and visited with conference participants as they browsed the exhibit area. More
Paul Jones gave a presentation on AgrAbility and other disability topics to the Purdue University AGR 201 Communicating Across Culture class on April 21. Ed Bell - long-time friend of AgrAbility, consultant, and new papaw - made the session come alive by sharing his perspective from decades of personal experience.
As spring emerges in Maine, staff have been across the state meeting with new and existing clients. What a nice change to meet people in-person! One farm visit included a 75-minute ferry ride to an island off the coast of central Maine.

During April, several sessions were offered to engage new audiences and share program resources. "Gardening & Ergonomics by Maine AgrAbility" was presented three times to more than 40 people across southern and central Maine. More

As part of a driver evaluation presentation to vocational rehabilitation, Ketra Crosson, OT, discussed the partnership with Maine AgrAbility and how the driver evaluation and an equipment assessment work together.
Brie Weisman gave a virtual presentation titled "Managing Pain on the Farm" as part of the Saginaw Valley State University SOTA conference. This session was also presented at the NTW, and staff encourage other SRAPs to use this Pain Tool with their clients and provide feedback on its use.

Be sure to check out the newest articles and information shared on the Maine AgrAbility website. More
The Michigan State University Alpha Gamma Rho TAU Chapter (MSU AGR) presented a check to Michigan AgrAbility for $18,000! Over the past several years, MSU AGR has contributed $120,000 to Michigan AgrAbility through their annual Beef Preview Show. Thank you to MSU AGR and the Beef Preview Show sponsors and exhibitors.
Missouri AgrAbility, through its collaborative efforts with the Missouri State Department of Agriculture Farm and Ranch Stress grant initiative, disseminated its behavioral health/mental health tool kit to farm families, agricultural groups, stakeholders, and others. More

To address the needs of its customers, Missouri AgrAbility continues to build service capacity across the state through education and networking. As such, Missouri AgrAbility and its collaborative partners facilitated the following: More

Missouri is also assisting client farmers with best practices of selecting and placing accessible beekeeping equipment on their farms.

Missouri AgrAbility marketing is being incorporated into upcoming Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) one-day regional outdoor camps. More
Staff set up a booth at the state FFA convention in Lincoln, offering hands-on lessons about how to work in ag with a physical limitation. Different AT solutions were out on the table for use with various mock disabilities. It was a popular booth and there were some great questions about AgrAbility!
The Nebraska AgrAbility team presented an all-day CEU workshop for 23 OTs, PTs, OTAs, PTAs, and students, to educate them about AgrAbility and how healthcare workers might consider the culture and work of farmers/ranchers as patients. More
AgrAbility was the topic of a Lincoln middle school student's "Make a Difference" fair presentation. Callia was inspired to present on the hazards of agricultural occupations and the benefits of rural rehabilitation by her grandfather, who is a recipient of AgrAbility services. More
Staff provided sleep education as it relates to safety and health for over 250 3rd and 4th grade students at two community safety days.
New Mexico
The New Mexico AgrAbility Project (NMAP) team completed a two-day training with Candiss Leathers, program manager of Colorado AgrAbility, on best practices for farm site evaluations and the cultural and environmental considerations needed when providing recommendations for farmers and ranchers.

Mandy's Farm, NMAP's nonprofit partner, is collaborating with three-dimensional printing students at Central New Mexico Community College to create a gear-reduction system for adapting a typical compost tumbler for use by people with mobility challenges.

The NMAP team has created their spring newsletter and it can be viewed on their website by clicking here.
North Carolina
This year, the Union County 2022 Embracing Transition Fair was featured on Thursday, April 28. Hundreds of students with special needs attended the event. Students in the transition to adulthood and occupational course of study programs made presentations about their job responsibilities from their worksite. More
On April 30 NC AgrAbility Partnership participated as an exhibitor at the 2022 Iredell Garden Fair among 40+ exhibitors and almost 800 attendees. The event was a place to fellowship and learn, and an opportunity to acquire gardening materials for the upcoming planting seasons. More
Ohio AgrAbility staff have been busy interacting with farmers and gardeners this spring. Laura Akgerman, disability services coordinator, presented to three different groups of gardeners in April. Topics included "Ergonomic Gardening," "Adaptive Gardening in Small Spaces," and "Gardening as We Age."

Ohio Staff are preparing for the Regional Workshop in Ohio June 28 - 30 and hope AgrAbility and Extension colleagues from across the country come to Ohio for this urban ag, workforce and wellness workshop.
Spring has sprung in Pennsylvania! Activities across the state and beyond have kept AgrAbility PA staff members busy, busy, busy.
April began with Outreach Coordinator Kendra Martin attending a conference hosted by PA Veteran Farming Network. This annual event drew more than 100 Veterans from across the state. More

AgrAbility PA was highlighted during a statewide PSU Extension support staff meeting with the goal being to equip Extension staff on how to promote and refer people to AgrAbility within the Extension county offices.

Case Coordinator and Project Assistant Abbie Spackman provided a training session to the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) FARM Coordinator staff; 25 coordinators from across the state. More

AgrAbility PA participated in the PA Farm Link board meeting hosted at Rodale Institute. More

Project Manager Linda Fetzer co-presented the Communicating with Farmers under Stress workshop for ag service providers in the northwest part of the state. More

AgrAbility and the topic of person-first language was featured as the DEI training via Zoom for Penn State Extension customer relation managers on April 21.
Project Director Suzanna Windon continued her academic research, presentations, and outreach on the topics of leadership, stress, and agriculture at a dozen or more professional stateside and international conferences. More
Central TN New Farmer Academy (NFA) Instructor and TN AgrAbility TSU PI Finis Stribling and John Ferrell, TSU ANR Extension agent, demonstrated two pieces of equipment - a tractor and a Rain-Flo 2400 Plastic Mulch Layer to students at the April NFA. More
Emergency Management Association Training Conference invited TN AgrAbility, TN Farm Bureau, and TN Association of Rescue Squads to set up a TN Grain Bin Safety & Rescue Awareness Training display. More
TN Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Conference invited TN AgrAbility staff to present on AgrAbility, Women in Ag, and TN Grain Bin Safety & Rescue Awareness trainings. Troy Dugger, PI for TN AgrAbility and program coordinator for Center for Profitable Agriculture, represented TNAP well.
"Reach for your dreams" is Sydney's message for Tennesseans with autism. TN Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) highlighted autism during April by sharing stories of Tennesseans with autism. More
A friend of a friend of a friend is how a Gibson County farmer and the love from his family and friends was able to have a lift built for his tractor. "All I want is for my dad to be able to continue farming for as long as he can." said his son Travis when he called TNAP. More
Bed garden rows up with this innovative assistive technology device (these are big words) designed by Blake Brown, gardener, farmer, and director at UT AgResearch and Education Center at Milan. Visit Tennessee AgrAbility|Facebook for the entire story and video.

Assistive Technology Awareness Day (April 6) was promoted by The Star Center, TN AgrAbility's nonprofit partner, and was used to introduce their assistive technology specialists across the state. More
The 2022 UT Organic Farming and Gardening Field Day was a great day of outreach and education for TN AgrAbility. TN AgrAbility joined with Frontline Gardens at an exhibit booth with creative ways to show "Everywhere You Look UT" and TN AgrAbility. More

SAVE THE DATE: The LIFE Project/AgrAbility/TSU 1890s Workshop is to be held at Tennessee State University's downtown Nashville campus June 7-8, 2022.More
Texas AgrAbility staff attended the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) conference in San Antonio. They manned a booth that promoted the National AgrAbility Project and Texas AgrAbility Project to current and future occupational therapists.
Texas AgrAbility's occupational therapist Faye McGuire presented a poster at the AOTA conference on "BattleGround to Breaking Ground's Impact on Veterans' Employment in Agriculture."

Staff conducted a farm assessment as a training opportunity for an occupational therapy (OT) intern and OT professor from St. Augustine University.

Texas AgrAbility conducted an assessment for a client with mobility limitations. Staff are working collaboratively with Vocational Rehabilitation to ensure the client's mobility needs are met.
AgrAbility of Utah staff attended a workshop on "The Nuts and Bolts of Disability Income Insurance" on April 14 in Logan, Utah, and picked up ideas to better understand and serve their clients.

AgrAbility of Utah enjoys attending the quarterly Western Regional Agriculture Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) webinars and enjoyed the presentation on April 21. Thanks to those who work so hard to educate and spread the word concerning farm mental health.
AgrAbility Virginia is currently working with 25 open farmer client cases at various levels of engagement and need, and staff provided input and information for an organization currently building an accessible community and forest farm.

AgrAbility Virginia Program Coordinator Garland Mason presented for a Virginia Tech class, "Identity and Inclusion in Agriculture and Life Sciences," on April 14th.

Staff are developing an AgrAbility Virginia network listserv, and more details are available at the link here.

Garland Mason was invited by a farmer client to present on AgrAbility during a board meeting for Health Equity and Access for Rural Regions (HEARR) on May 10 via Zoom.

AgrAbility Virginia Community Outreach Specialist Liza Dobson will be exhibiting at the Boots to Roots workshop for Virginia Farmer Veterans. The workshop will be held at Virginia State University's Randolph Farm and will share information with military veterans on how to start or manage a profitable farming enterprise. Learn more here.
Washington State AgrAbility Project presented about its program and described the national program at the 2022 American Farm Bureau Safety Coordinators Conference in Lacey, Washington, at the Washington Farm Bureau office April 27th.

WSAP continues to work with Cherry Creek Media in a digital campaign promoting AgrAbility targeted at rural areas in Washington.

New items have been added to the lending library, including the SpringZback back support brace and a Gorilla Cart.

On-farm demonstrations and workshops are being planned with one of WSAP's partners, Viva Farms, in May and July.
Wisconsin AgrAbility staff, along with their partners at Easterseals Wisconsin and the UW- Marshfield Ag Research station, hosted the Wisconsin Vocational Rehabilitation counselors for a "day in the life" on-farm training in late April. More

Staff hosted their annual AgrAbility of Wisconsin Summit in Cashton, WI, at the Organic Valley Headquarters. More
AgrAbility for Africa
The AgrAbility for Africa staff hosted teams from the Nile Basin region to discuss industrial and agricultural pollutions, and climate change adaptations and their impact to eco-systems, resilience in farming, and overall farming productivity. More

Island communities are often forgotten and very hard to reach, but because of the desire and mission of the AgrAbility for Africa staff to bridge services gaps, the team has been busy increasing island visits and extending outreach activities to these farming communities. More
Program Coordinator Makenzie Thomas is on maternity leave after having a beautiful baby girl!
Our staff said goodbye to Outreach Specialist Amanda Harguth on April 30. She is moving on to a new opportunity. We wish her luck in the future.
Click titles below for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects.

Click titles below for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

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