October 2019
A monthly update for AgrAbility projects and friends of AgrAbility
The AgrAbility Annual Staff Needs Assessment has been distributed to staff members from funded SRAPs who were on staff by August 31. Please take a few minutes to complete and submit the assessment. Your feedback provides valuable guidance to the National AgrAbility Project. If you didn't receive a survey link, contact jonesp@purdue.edu.
The AgrAbility National Training Workshop will take place in Madison, WI, March 23rd - 26th, 2020.

  • The keynote speaker will be Davon Goodwin: a farmer, a veteran, and an 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.
  • Don't forget to submit your session and poster proposals soon. You can access them here Call for Presentations Form | Call for Posters Form. Please feel free to forward this link to anyone that you would like to have present at the NTW.
  • Please start thinking about possible exhibitors or sponsors. Online Exhibitor Form | Printable Exhibitor Form. You can also direct anyone interested to contact Tess or JoBeth.
  • Contact JoBeth or Tess anytime: - JoBeth Rath - jbrath@goodwillfingerlakes.org 585.402.2059 and Tess McKeel - tmckeel@goodwillfingerlakes.org - 585.447.9015
Registration is open for the Regional Workshop in Davis, CA, for December 3-4 at the Mondavi Sensory Theatre. More
The 2020 AgrAbility VIRTUAL National Training Workshop (VNTW) has been scheduled for January 28-30. The VNTW consists of two webinars per day, and this year’s sessions are planned for 12:00 p.m. EST and 3:00 p.m. EST. If you would like to give a webinar, please complete and return this form to jonesp@purdue.edu by Monday, December 2.  
The National AgrAbility Project provided materials for display in the Ohio AgrAbility tent at the 2019 Ohio Farm Science Review. The NAP also exhibited at the National Association County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Annual Meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Chuck Baldwin of the National AgrAbility Project (NAP)/Purdue University and Amanda Harguth with AgrAbility of Wisconsin/University of Wisconsin staffed a booth at the World Dairy Expo the week of October 1-5, 2019. The event is held annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. More
Paul Jones gave an AgrAbility presentation and staffed a display at the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association Annual Conference in Quebec City, QC, on October 8-10. In addition to sessions at the hotel, the conference included tours, one of which was to a strawberry farm that was still harvesting.
Toolbox Spotlight
The WoodOX Sling Firewood Carrier positions the load under the user's arm (on either side) so that the weight is distributed across the upper body (rather than it being all on one side and transported by one arm). This design means an upward shift in the carrier's center of gravity to promote less strain on the body and less chance of the load tripping in transit.
On September 28th, Assistive Technologies of Alaska (ATLA) attended the Mat-Su Emergency Preparedness Expo. More

The AgrAbility team attended two nights at Rodeo Alaska and two health fairs in late September and talked to a wide variety of folks and ranchers about AgrAbility resources available through CES & ATLA.
California AgrAbility conducted outreach at the Farmworker Appreciation Day hosted by the Mexican consulate in French Camp, an agricultural community near Stockton, California. The event was held in a family migrant center and brought families from nearby migrant centers. More
California AgrAbility staffed a booth at the annual Mexican Independence Day Celebration in Yuba City. More
Staff attended the Nutrition, Health, and Safety Fair at the Westwood Elementary school. This event brought resources from the local community as well as from around the state to educate elementary school kids and their parents on various topics. More
The Merger is Official! Goodwill Industries of Denver and Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado have finalized a merger between the two organizations. Discover Goodwill©, based in Colorado Springs, and Goodwill Industries of Denver will maintain their current administrative offices, retail stores, donation centers, and other localized programs that together serve more than 100,000 individuals throughout Colorado each year. More
With the merger came a new opportunity. CO AgrAbility staff were invited to attend the Colorado Springs Farmers Market, hosted by Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado. More
Staff at CAP have for some years been reaching out to rural health care organizations to establish some form of mutual connection. Though all serve many of the same populations in the rural farm areas of the state, many communities have never heard of CAP. More
Georgia AgrAbility co-sponsored the Vermiculture 101 Workshop held at the UGA Greenhouse Complex in Athens, Georgia, September 7th. More
September 13th, Georgia AgrAbility held a rapid fabrication workshop for physical and occupational therapists. This "make and take" workshop explored different fabrication tools and materials that can be used to create hundreds of assistive technology solutions in minutes. More
Georgia AgrAbility staff hosted a volunteer day at a client's hog farm in Lincolnton, Georgia, September 19th. The client is a veteran, had recently suffered from a mini-stroke, and needed assistance getting fencing complete on the farm so that he can obtain NRCS funding. More
AgrAbility of Illinois managed the Health and Public Safety Tent at the Farm Progress Show on August 27-29. More

Kelly Gagnon, the AgrAbility IL communications coordinator, presented at the Illinois Rural Health Association's annual conference. More
Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, presented "Practical AT User Assessments" to a graduate level class during which he presented the assessment process and showed examples of assistive technology on the farm.
Indiana AgrAbility has continued to conduct farm assessments for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services and provide the basic services to the farmers of Indiana. Recent assessments included a farmer with a traumatic brain injury and one with multiple impairments. Job coaching has been added to the services offered.
Kansas AgrAbility participated in Women and Ag in Oberlin, Kansas. More
KAP staff joined the KSU Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department for the annual BAE Showcase for students of the department and undeclared majors in the College of Engineering and College of Agriculture. More
Maine's veteran outreach specialist, Anne Devin, had an AgrAbility display table at the Northeast Mechanical Weed Expo in Old Town, Maine, on September 12. More
AgrAbility staff exhibited project information at the three-day Common Ground Fair in Unity (September 20-22). The theme was aging farmers asking, "What's your body telling you?" This display generated lots of conversations with fairgoers, and staff were able to speak with about 300 people about aches and pains and possible work modification ideas.
On Sunday, September 22, Anne Devin gave the Sunday keynote speech, "United We Grow: Veterans in Agriculture" at the Common Ground Fair. In her keynote, Devin discussed how her military experiences have been helping her and her family navigate farming as a lifestyle and business. More
On Sunday, September 22, Anne Devin gave the Sunday keynote speech, "United We Grow: Veterans in Agriculture" at the Common Ground Fair. In her keynote, Devin discussed how her military experiences have been helping her and her family navigate farming as a lifestyle and business. She also laid out their vision of developing a veteran-to-farmer transition program and how the community can help support its local veteran farmers.
On September 26, Brie Weisman hosted a free yoga class for gardeners and farmers. She demonstrated ways to incorporate yoga into daily routines, using stretches that can be done sitting or standing.
After reconstructive ankle surgery, Bill Renshaw of Union City struggled to climb onto some of his farm equipment, especially the skid loader. Bill's need was submitted to the MSU Mechanical Engineering 481 class for senior students to design and build a solution as a capstone project. More
Last month, Michigan AgrAbility announced the opening of the AgrAbility Demonstration Farm partnering with Holland area farmer Doug VerHoeven so farmers can "try before they buy". More
Missouri AgrAbility participated in Suicide Prevention Month and Farm Safety Week to help raise awareness and provide resources to MO AgrAbility's following and farmers. More
MU Extension staff members provided education and networking activities to educate participants about AgrAbility eligibility criteria for services, ergonomic tools that help to make farming easier, and the Internet of Things (IoT) introduced by demonstrating advanced technologies and robotics. More
On September 4, staff attended a Women in Agriculture program for 32 participants in northwest Missouri.
The Women in Agriculture Summit took place in Jefferson City, Missouri, September 5-6. It was co-sponsored by Farm Bureau, MU Extension, and Missouri AgrAbility. One hundred twenty-five women attended the Summit.
Missouri AgrAbility team members Karen Funkenbusch, Debi Kelly, and Tricia Barrett presented two posters at the 2019 NACCA national conference September 9-13.
On September 14, 500 Mennonite farm families participated in an AgrAbility safety and health workshop in Fortuna, Missouri. Mennonite materials were shared by AgrAbility Pennsylvania and Indiana Rural Safety and Health Association.
Missouri AgrAbility staff members participated in the AgrAbility All-Staff Meeting hosted by National AgrAbility on September 23.
On September 24, AgrAbility clients learned about ergonomic tools, proper body mechanics, and hand/foot protection. More
Susan Butterfield, MO AgrAbility ambassador, Valerie Tate, MU Extension agronomy specialist and Karen Funkenbusch, MO AgrAbility director, hosted a Farmer and Rancher AgrAbility Workshop September 25 at the Forage Research Farm.
September 27, Missouri AgrAbility worked with 10 Latino/Hispanic AgrAbility clients and their families.
Pharm to Farm and University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy (UMKC SOP), Missouri AgrAbility collaborative partners, provided free point-of-care health screenings at the Farm Safety Day hosted by Missouri Extension and Missouri AgrAbility for the Mennonite community in Fortuna, MO. More
Lincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP), in collaboration with the University of Missouri, has been busy throughout the month of September. David Middleton and Nahshon Bishop spoke to 1,500 high school and college students, More
Susan Jaster attended the 2019 Veteran Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, and Resiliency Summit on September 11 at the Kaufman Foundation Conference Center in Kansas City, MO. She set up a display to promote Missouri AgrAbility and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri. More
The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) hosted the St. Louis Professional Networking Coffee at the BIA-MO Office on September 3, 2019. Professionals attended to meet others who are involved in the care of survivors of brain injury and to learn about the Missouri AgrAbility Project (MAP).
Maureen Cunningham, BIA-MO executive director, attended the MODOT 2019 Highway Safety and Traffic Blueprint Conference as a presenter and exhibitor September 9 - 11. She displayed information for the Missouri AgrAbility Project and talked with conference attendees.
Maureen Cunningham presented "Brain Injury and Farming" at the Women in Agriculture Conference on September 16. She discussed the causes and impact of brain injury in rural settings and the Missouri AgrAbility Project as a resource for survivors who are farmers.
Maureen Cunningham attended the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities meeting and shared information about BIA-MO services and Missouri AgrAbility Project programs.
Maureen Cunningham, BIA-MO, and Susan Jaster, Lincoln University, presented at the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators Conference on September 25. More
Nebraska AgrAbility was there when PHARM Dog "Lassie" and a Nebraska AgrAbility client, Kyle Lammers, were united. Lassie is shaping up to be a great asset to his operation, mainly to help him with working cattle. More
Husker Harvest Days was the great event this year. While attendance may have been down due to natural disasters in the state, connections were made with potential clients, staff were educated on stress and mental wellness, and everyone enjoyed visiting with people from across Nebraska. More
September 16-20 was National Farm Safety and Health Week, and staff educated kids at a Progressive Ag Safety Day in Franklin. Staff also educated on social media platforms about tractor safety, farmer health, safety & health for youth, confined spaces, and safety & health for women. More
Staff set up at the Columbus Health Fair to educate people about AgrAbility, stress management, and other programs available through Nebraska Extension. More
New Mexico
New Mexico AgrAbility will give an informational session on the project at the San Miguel County Health Council Meeting in Las Vegas, New Mexico, October 22.
North Carolina
On September 1, North Carolina was awarded by USDA-NIFA with a 2019-2023 AgrAbility grant to support farmers with disabilities in the state. More
NC AgrAbility was invited to train NRCS agents on how to work with veterans and disabled farmers at the NRCS annual meeting in Morganton on September 11. More
NC AgrAbility participated as an exhibitor at the first Hispanic Farmers and Agricultural Professionals Symposium which was held Friday, September 13 at the North Carolina Farm Bureau headquarters in Raleigh. More
The NC AgrAbility advisory board met for the first time in the new cycle on September 18. The board is gaining more members from various organizations across the state and from other departments at NCA&T. More
NC AgrAbility was invited to the NCA&T county operations Zoom Meeting on September 20. More
On September 21, Dr. Crystal Kyle and Beatriz Rodriguez were invited as keynote speakers at the Beekeepers and Farmers Conference at the Hill Family Farm and Educational Center in Whitakers, NC. More
NC AgrAbility participated as an exhibitor and presenter at the Assistive Technology Vendor EXPO in Raleigh, NC, on September 26. This event is the largest gathering of vendors who help individuals with disabilities across the state. More
The Ohio AgrAbility Program's dual missions of education and assistance to farmers with disabilities were on display at the 2019 Farm Science Review on September 17-19. Staff, farmers, and vendors were on hand to answer questions, greet visitors, demonstrate assistive technology and equipment, and talk about Ohio AgrAbility. More
OAP held daily "Fitness for Farm Life: Stretching and Everyday Exercises" sessions. Attendees were offered tips on safely lifting and carrying heavy items and other ways to protect their backs from injury. More
In addition to publications and workshops, OAP showcased some of its most important education and outreach partners: their farmers. More
AgrAbility education and outreach went well beyond the OAP exhibit tent. In the Utzinger Memorial Garden, staff presented a session on gardening through the life span. Even when staff were not presenting workshops in the garden, OAP was still on display: More
OAP featured a new exhibit area in 2019 - "Ohio AgrAbility: A Focus on Livestock", with adapted equipment and information posters detailing how modifications and assistive technology can help farmers with and without disabilities farm safely. More
Linda Fetzer, Abbie Spackman, and Kendra Martin attended the Child Ag Injury Prevention workshop held in Hershey, PA, in mid-September. More
Jaylen, who helps her parents on their farm, Blue Dog Farms, is a self-described "differently-abled" farm girl who overcomes challenges and obstacles with grace and dignity. More
Abbie Spackman provided a training session to over 50 FSA staff member and loan officers. The full day workshop focused on mental health and stress among farmers. More
Tennessee State University, one of Tennessee AgrAbility Project's (TNAP's) land-grant partners, hosted the Small Farm Expo National Women in Agriculture Association Conference. Read more here.

TNAP exhibited at TN State University's annual Small Farm Expo in Nashville. Dr. Deborah Reed represented AgrAbility there and also presented AgrAbility with farm health and safety at the National Women in Ag Symposium in Nashville that highlighted women in Ag and opportunities.

TNAP exhibited at the 10Oth TN Valley Fair in Knoxville, TN, and the Houston County Fair in Erin, TN.

TNAP hosted a Progressive Farmer Ag Safety Day with Farm Bureau and Extension on Farm Day for over 1000 participants.
Thank Your Farmer Fair" was a new event where Trosts represented AgrAbility, Farmer Veteran Coalition of TN, and Pokedot Hops and Garden.

TSU New Farmer Academy graduated prospective farmers from across the country ( TSU News Service). More
TNAP was a co-sponsor of the Gibson County Ag Day for 4th graders two-day event. There were 520 students involved and 10 agriculture-related stations. The students learned about different agriculture practices in Gibson County.
The 2019 TN AgrAbility Ag-Run-Ability 5K/2 mi. WALK to raise awareness for TN AgrAbility within the UTIA system was held September 14-19. Thirty-one registered and 23 participated in this event. Thank you to TN Farmers Coop for being a sponsor. More
"The Dust Rolls" with 40 days of 90+ degree temperatures and only 1/2 inch of rain in Tennessee. Harvest set in, and TNAP distributed goodie bags of water, ear plugs, soap in a hose, paper towels, and window cleaner to combines, tractors, sprayers, grain trucks, and cotton pickers... More
A helmet safety presentation was delivered to 120 third grade students at the Decatur County TRAE fair.

TNAP participated in various webinars promoting National Farm Health and Safety Week 2019. More
Twenty-six veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers were admitted into the BattleGround to Breaking Ground program. Training farms in Gatesville and Nixon will be hosting participants to gain their 100 hours of hands-on training. More
Eighteen new participants of the BattleGround to Breaking Ground Program attended the basic training weekend. AgrAbility staff member Makenzie Thomas presented AgrAbility to participants, and a local farm equipment dealership conducted an equipment selection and safety presentation. More
The FSA Farmer Veteran Streamlined Eligibility program and BattleGround to Breaking Ground cohorts graduated 24 individuals in September. More
Russ Clanton, farm loan chief for USDA FSA, attended the Cohort 3&4 graduation lunch. By completing the program, participants are eligible for USDA FSA microloans and down payment assistance loans to start their own operations.
Texas AgrAbility published a new fact sheet Safety for Aging Farmers & Ranchers. Check it out here.
Resource Facilitator Michael Porter of AgrAbility of Utah attended the Sevier County Watershed Tour and Conference on September 16 and explained AgrAbility to the participants. The Natural Resources Conservation Services of Utah sponsored the conference.

Connor Dyreng and Michael Porter set up an AgrAbility display booth at the first-ever Central Utah Grazing Expo on September 17 and 18. The event took place in Ephraim and Salina, Utah, and was hosted by Utah State University Extension.
Darlene Carlisle and Randall Bagley attended the Assistive Technology Fair at Salt Lake Community College on September 17. At their booth, they demonstrated examples of assistive technology and let participants play an interactive AgrAbility game with their phones.

KMTI Radio 95.1 in Manti, UT, interviewed Connor Dyreng and Randall Bagley about the AgrAbility of Utah program on September 23.
AgrAbility of Illinois is pleased to announce Josie Rudolphi as co-director of the program. Rudolphi brings 10 years of professional experience to the position and previously served as an associate research scientist for the National Farm Research Center in Marshfield, WI. She earned a B.S. in agricultural communications and a M.S. in agricultural education from Iowa State University. She also earned a Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health from the University of Iowa. Dr. Josie Rudolphi will join Dr. Robert Aherin as a co-director of the AgrAbility of Illinois program. Dr. Aherin has served as the director of the Illinois AgrAbility program since it was established in 1990.
New Mexico
As the New Mexico AgrAbility Project says adios and thank you to occupational therapy student Craig Charlton, they now welcome occupational therapy students Evangeline Randall and Callie Ward to Mandy's Farm. The OT graduate students will be assisting April Wood, AgrAbility team member and farm manager, in creating the farming curriculum for people with disabilities, assisting individual food growers be successful in food growing tasks, and recommending, adapting, or modifying simple tools or environments to accommodate disability in the workplace.
Problems? Contact Chuck Baldwin, National AgrAbility Project, baldwi19@purdue.edu

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