November 2019
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
NTW registration will be opening soon!
  • The AgrAbility National Training Workshop will take place in Madison, WI, March 23-26, 2020. Tess has received many proposed sessions, including topics such as agriculture as therapy, preventing secondary injuries, assistive technology for agriculture, adding value to your farm, dealing with stress, and veterans in agriculture.

  • The keynote speaker will be Davon Goodwin, a farmer, veteran, and AgrAbility client from NC. For your planning, this year's keynote address, banquet dinner, and live auction will be on Tuesday night rather than Wednesday night.

Registration is open for the Regional Workshop in Davis, CA, on December 3-4, at the Mondavi Sensory Theatre. More

AgrAbility Webinar: "Alternative Financing for Assistive Technology," Thursday, December 5, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET. Register by December 2. More
Paul Jones, Ned Stoller, and Sierra Royster represented AgrAbility at the 25th Annual APRIL Conference on Rural Independent Living in Grand Rapids, MI. Approximately 425 attendees participated in the event, and Ned and Paul had a session on AT for outdoor work and mobility.
The Regional Workshop in State College, PA, had a wonderful turnout last month. There were 36 attendees from five different states. Presentations were insightful and covered topics on OT, AT, funding, and resources. More

The NAP Advisory Team, NAP staff, and NAP consultants met in Indianapolis on November 12-13 for their annual face-to-face meeting to provide feedback on AgrAbility initiatives. Many thanks to those who braved the arctic weather to participate.

In September, the USDA's Office of Advocacy and Outreach announced that the Peoples Foundation, with partners National AgrAbility Project and Legacy Farming and Health Group had been awarded a three-year 2501 Program grant. More
November 1-2, Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project's underserved populations outreach coordinator, participated in the 29th annual conference of the National Black Farmers Association in Prattville, Alabama, as a presenter and exhibitor. More
Toolbox Spotlight
The Workshop Ceiling-Track System is designed to keep cords and hoses off the ground or work surface so tasks can be accomplished without their getting in the way. The basic system includes a 4-foot track that houses two rolling trolleys, each of which accepts a ring-hook and a 21/2-inch J-hook onto which extension cords, air-fittings, hoses, etc. can be hung.
In October, Alaska AgrAbility was promoted in Wasilla and Fairbanks. The Wasilla Health Fair brought in many locals for blood tests, flu shots, and to learn about organizations looking to support their community. More

Also in October, outreach engagements included two annual conferences: the Alaska Environmental Health Association Conference in Anchorage (10/9/-10/11), and the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) (10/17-10/19) that was hosted in Fairbanks this year. More
The photo is of Kate Yenik, Assistive Technology Acquisition Assistance Program (ATAAP) Coordinator with ATLA in Wasilla, Alaska, sharing program information and demonstrating assistive technologies at a health fair. More
California AgrAbility had a booth at the 29th Annual Celebration of Farmworker Day in Gridley located in Butte County. The event brought together state, county, and local agencies such as the Department of Pesticide Regulation, University of California Agricultural and Natural Resource Services, More

California AgrAbility conducted outreach at the UC Davis Disability Symposium and Technology Fair on the UC Davis main campus. Staff showcased ergonomic gardening tools to students, staff, and faculty. More
Staff presented AgrAbility at the San Mateo Abilities Expo with their partner agency, Ability Tools, which brought at-home living assistive tools for attendees to learn about devices that could make day to day task easier while living with a disability. More
Hamid Fonooni, director of the ergonomics program in the UC Davis Occupational Health Services Department, presented on ergonomics for the UC Davis Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department. More
During the past month, the Colorado AgrAbility Project (CAP) attended a low vision/AT expo in Durango, CO. Staff spent the day there and were able to make a two-hour presentation on AgrAbility 101 and a series of personal success stories.
At month's end, CAP staff were invited to attend a suicide prevention listening session hosted by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. The facilitator gathered a group of stakeholders in both agriculture and mental health services. More
Georgia AgrAbility staff attended the 2019 Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition located in Moultrie, Georgia, October 15-17. This is North America's premier farm show with over 1,200 vendors participating. Georgia AgrAbility was represented at the expo as The AgrAbility Farm and Garden Learning Station. More

October 29, Georgia AgrAbility staff presented two sessions, "Farming with a Disability" and "Universal Designed Learning", at the 2019 Georgia Association of People Supporting Employment First (GAPSE) Conference. More
Compeer Financial recently presented AgrAbility of Illinois with a donation of $9,475. As part of Compeer's recent board of directors election, the company pledged $5 for each vote received. This donation will greatly help AgrAbility sustain programming in the coming year.

AgrAbility of Illinois staff are planning online Ambassador trainings for November 2019. Staff will update ambassadors on goals for the program year, review expectations and needs, and communicate opportunities for promotion assistance in the 2020 program year.
Indiana AgrAbility Rural Rehabilitation Specialist Steve Swain attended the third annual Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana Brain Injury and Resource Facilitation Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. More

Indiana AgrAbility attended and exhibited at the Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator fall retreat held at the Beck Center on the Purdue Agronomy Farm. More

Indiana AgrAbility continues to conduct farm visits and VR farm accessibility assessments, and to make recommendations and product quotes for farmers with disabilities.
Kansas AgrAbility (KAP) and the Western AT Access Site co-hosted Ag Demonstration Day on October 10 from 10:00- 3:00. Eleven vendors participated and 55 farmers, ranchers, and family members attended. More

Twenty-six occupational therapists from northeast Kansas participated in a three-hour workshop that focused on helping patients participate in rural life after rehab hosted by Stormont Vail Hospital. More
Karin Rasmussen and her team did a fabulous job on the Western Kansas AgrAbility Day!! Kansas Farm and Ranch Radio produced an awesome video of Karin, her vendors, and customers. Readers can find it on the Kansas AgrAbility Facebook page or by clicking here. Great Job Everyone!!
Maine AgrAbility is pleased to announce that several new videos have been finalized and added to its website resource list. More

Additionally, staff have developed three other videos and one summary video to share success stories and the possibilities of working in production agriculture with a disability. More
Three Maine staffers (Lani Carlson, Anne Devin, and Marie DeFranca) attended the AgrAbility Regional Training Workshop in State College, PA. Helpful information was shared and all three enjoyed the opportunity to try out assistive technology first-hand.
Ellen Gibson presented "Gardening & Ergonomics" to two separate groups this month: once for Department of Transportation employees at the Maine Safety & Health Conference in Augusta, and also for the Mid Coast Women's Auxiliary Annual Meeting in Brunswick. More
After many months of prep work, Maine AgrAbility hosted the first annual Educate to Cultivate (E2C) Business Development and Assistive Technology Symposium for Military Veterans in Agriculture in Augusta. The E2C symposium was for military veterans and their partners involved in agriculture or for those veterans who desire to learn more about safely and successfully running their own business in agriculture. More
Staff developed a new sticker for the E2C to remind people to "Farm Strong" - not only because physical strength is needed for this occupation, but "farm strong" to build strong community networks and create resilience to maintain a safe and productive farm.

Other exhibits this month included a display at Aging Well Living Well-Seniors Plus Expo in Bethel staffed by Brie Weisman, an AgrAbility Display at the Maine Brain Injury Association annual conference in South Portland staffed by Kelley Smith, and a display at the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry joint meeting with UMaine Cooperative Extension in Augusta.
At the annual Champions Ceremony held in Lansing, MI, the Michigan Council of Rehabilitation Services, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, and @Michigan Career and Technical Institute honored the Michigan AgrAbility program as a statewide partner that has demonstrated a strong commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities. More
Frank Tomack, who farms near Chesaning, helps install and retrofit AT for AgrAbility clients' occupancy. Along with row crops, Frank's family raises twenty acres of pumpkins and gourds with over 270 varieties! More

Michigan citizens elected a new governor in 2018 ... and with a new governor comes departmental reorganization. More
Missouri AgrAbility staff members Karen Funkenbusch, Joni Harper, Darla Campbell, and Jim Spencer, all with the University of Missouri Extension, and David Middleton and Jim Pierce from the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program at Lincoln University attended the North Central Region (NCR) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) beginning farmers and ranchers training workshop in Plainville, Indiana, October 1-2.

Missouri AgrAbility staff from the University of Missouri Extension exhibited smart technologies and demonstrated ergonomic tools to farmers and farm families. More
University of Missouri AgrAbility staff exhibited smart technologies and demonstrated ergonomic tools to farmers, ranchers, and farm families, in addition to handing out farmer stress information and opioid resources at the third annual Great Pumpkin Fall Festival, October 12th, in Paris, Missouri.

Karen Funkenbusch participated with Missouri Aging and Disability Research Network in a meeting sponsored by the Department of Occupational Therapy, Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri, October 15.

Kelly Cochran, PharmD, BCPS, a Missouri AgrAbility collaborative partner, facilitated the October Missouri AgrAbility Collaborative Team monthly Zoom teleconference. More
Lincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) in collaboration with the University of Missouri has been busy throughout the month of October. More

Brain Injury Association of Missouri Speakers Bureau volunteer Josh Thompson highlighted the Missouri AgrAbility Project as a resource during an educational presentation at the Missouri Association of Rural Education Conference on October 24.

The Missouri Occupational Therapy Association Conference included a "Brain Injury Causes, Impact and Resources" presentation by BIA-MO Speakers Bureau volunteer Kathleen Winklemann. More
The BIA-MO 15th Annual Professional Development Conference featured the Missouri AgrAbility Project as a track sponsor with recognition throughout the three-day educational program for professionals, survivors of brain injury, and family members. More

David Middleton, Lincoln University, represented the Missouri AgrAbility Project partnership as a presenter for the "Increasing Independence and Improving Therapy with Technology, Robotics and Adaptive Equipment" session during the professional days of the BIA-MO 15th Annual Conference.

Karen Funkenbusch, director/PI of the Missouri AgrAbility Project, and Debi Kelly, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension, discussed MAP with attendees at the exhibit to bring awareness about farming or ranching with a disability to professionals, survivors, and family members.
The veteran group that has a staff member representing Nebraska AgrAbility had a request to help a homeless veteran find housing and a job in a rural northeast Nebraska community. More
Staff members are working with Vocational Rehabilitation to help clients that are beginning to come off the order of selection waiting list within VR. It is going to be a busy fall and winter, and that is good!

The session for a Progressive Ag Safety Day(r) in Franklin, Nebraska, was a hit!
Rod (Nebraska AgrAbility) and Holly (assistive technology financing programs) stopped by Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP) to celebrate 30 years of helping Nebraskans live more independently. More
Nebraska AgrAbility was represented at the Nebraska Safety Council conference where booths from many industries were featured. This was a good opportunity to educate managers from ag-related businesses about what AgrAbility offers.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) civil rights committee hosted a disability awareness/Hispanic heritage outreach event in October. Emily presented how AgrAbility helps overcome disabilities. More
Nebraska AgrAbility has been doing outreach projects with local Nebraska FFA programs. Wayne Ag and FFA used what they learned from AgrAbility staff and created "First Aid for Farmers". More
New Mexico
The Mandy's Farm AgrAbility farm apprentices sold fresh veggies and value-added farm products they created at the annual Harvest Festival, Saturday October 2, held at the main campus on Clark St. More
North Carolina
October 1, NC AgrAbility held its quarterly meeting at the Veterans Healing Farm in Hendersonville, NC. At this meeting, partners discussed goals, objectives, and activities for the following four years. More
October 8, staff provided training in Goldsboro, NC, to the Whitaker Farm Group on "How to Prevent Injuries While Working in the Farm or Garden." Fifteen farmers received the training and enrolled in the NC AgrAbility listserv.
North Carolina was the Spotlight State at the Sunbelt Ag EXPO October 15-17 in Moultrie, Georgia. "From the Mountain to the Sea" was the theme of the NC display where organizations like NCDA, NC Grange, Farm Bureau, and NC Cooperative Extension showcased some of their programs. More
JAC Farm had a Demo Day October 22 in Warrenton, NC, and invited NC AgrAbility to present information about the program and show tools to help farmers overcome challenges while gardening and farming. More
October 17-27, the College of Ag and Environmental Sciences at NCA&T exhibited at the 2019 NC State Fair and allowed NC AgrAbility to share information about the program with the thousands of people who visited the booth. More
Ohio AgrAbility farmers were making news in October. Ohio AgrAbility farmer Buddy Myers hosted OAP staff, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (state VR), More
Another Ohio AgrAbility farmer, Len Vonderhaar, was interviewed by a local TV station, and demonstrated how a lift helped him get in and out of his tractor so he could keep farming. See both articles/videos in the "AgrAbility in the News" section of this e-Note.
Two Ohio State fraternities held fundraisers and donated the proceeds to Ohio AgrAbility. Delta Theta Sigma held a flag football game, and Alpha Gamma Rho held a car smash. More
Ohio AgrAbility staff presented "Gardening as We Age" to a group of Master Gardeners and community members in Somerset, Ohio. The attendees appreciated the information and had good questions and helpful insights and suggestions on how they have modified their gardening practices as they age.
Regional Workshop: Oct 8-9. This two-day workshop was a great opportunity to learn more about occupational therapy and assistive technology on the farm - working together to keep farmers farming! More
The Pennsylvania Capitol became a one-stop resource for people living with physical and cognitive disabilities as a multitude of public and private providers gathered in the main rotunda for State Senator Christine Tartaglione's annual Disability Awareness Day in Harrisburg. More

AgrAbility partnered with the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation for a presentation during the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. More

Project Assistant Abbie Spackman shared AgrAbility information with over 300 delegates during the PA Grange Annual Convention. The event was held in State College, PA, and was attended by Grange members from across the state. More
TNAP team met with Warriors ReEntry Ranch, an innovative agritherapy program, to help struggling veterans rediscover their purpose. More

TNAP exhibited at annual UTIA Ag Day, Tennessee Cattlemen's Association Ames Fall Field Day, and TN Association of Rescue Squads Annual Conference October 2019. The latter was an educational grain bin rescue demonstration and conference.

Dr. Deborah Reed, ag nurse, presented in the webinar series "Seven Habits for Effective Farmers" about farm safety and stress management. Materials and recordings from previous sessions are available online here.

Farm Again GA did an amazing job hosting the AgrAbility Farm and Garden Learning Station at the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo. More
TNAP exhibited at the Resource ABILITY Assistive Technology Fair in Nashville, Clarksville, and Paris. TN AgrAbility and Life Essentials demonstrated assistive technology for farms and outdoor mobility in Nashville. More
TN Ag Literacy Week (November 17-23) was celebrated by TNAP staff by reading to a class of kindergartners at Grand Junction Elementary from the book Creepy Carrots. More
Texas AgrAbility launched three interactive web forums for sharing information and resources and connecting clients with one another. The forum areas are "Texas Agriculture Health," "Veterans in Agriculture," and "Hispanic and Migrant Farmers." You can join the forums here.
Applications for the next cohort of BattleGround to Breaking Ground are now open and will close on December 6. The program offers a tuition-based and tuition waived track for veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers. More
The next BattleGround to Breaking Ground Ag Business workshop will be held on December 6 in Belton. Partnering with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension county agent, topic areas covered will include rural business ideas, business planning basics, funding opportunities More
Staff created a short video introduction of Texas AgrAbility for dissemination on the website and in educational modules. The video highlights client stories and services provided by AgrAbility. View the video here.

A Veteran's Day news story from AgriLife Today will highlight Texas AgrAbility and BattleGround to Breaking Ground's work with veterans in agriculture. More

A new blog post was created by Texas AgrAbility staff on tips to manage stress during the holidays. Check out the blog post here.
Program Coordinator Randall Bagley attended the Roads to Independence staff meeting on October 17 and presented the AgrAbility of Utah program. Roads to Independence is one of six independent living centers in Utah and is located in Ogden.

AgrAbility of Utah Outreach Coordinator Darlene Carlisle attended and networked at the Utah Primary Care Summit in Salt Lake City on October 18. More

Randall Bagley presented at the Cache Interagency Council monthly meeting on October 28 in Logan, Utah, and explained the AgrAbility program. More
New Mexico
Congratulations to Carla Wilhite, OTD, OTR/L for receiving a prestigious award from the American Occupational Therapy Association. Carla has been named to the Roster of Fellows. The AOTA Roster of Fellows recognizes occupational therapists who, through their knowledge, expertise, leadership, advocacy, and guidance, have made a significant contribution over time to the profession with a measured impact on consumers of occupation therapy or members of the Association. The award is based on her exemplary education and research for agricultural workers. The award will be presented at the annual awards and recognition ceremony during the AOTA Annual Conference being held in Boston.
AgrAbility PA is excited to share news about the project's leadership team! Dr. Suzanna Windon and Linda Fetzer will serve in new leadership roles on the project's Penn State University team. Windon will serve as project director and principal investigator - managing overall project development and execution of AgrAbility PA. Fetzer will serve as project manager and co-principal investigator - managing the tracking, assessment, and support for the overall project initiatives. More

Welcome, Suzanna and Linda, to your new roles!

After more than 25 years with AgrAbility PA, Dr. Connie Baggett will retire effective Dec. 31. He will continue to serve as project advisor until then.
TNAP wanted to update you on some changes taking place in Tennessee. Tim Prather will be retiring on 12/31/2019 after more than 36 1/2 years of service with University of Tennessee Extension. If you would like to send well wishes or old photos or video via email for his retirement party by December 2nd, please send to MORE
Click titles below for news stories featuring AgrAbility projects .

Click titles below for other news of interest to AgrAbility staff members.

  • Tennessee Farmer Suicide Prevention Day, Wednesday, October 16th, was established by a Joint House Resolution (No. 506) and signed by Governor Lee. Thank you to the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative in consultation with the TN Farmers Suicide Prevention Taskforce for raising awareness!

Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project,

Copyright © 2019 Purdue University