Penn State University students in agricultural fraternities, a sorority, and several clubs held a “Penny War” and spaghetti dinner at University Park which raised nearly $1,000 for a farmer with a disability.
Kyle, a young beef farmer, sustained an injury from a PTO entanglement incident.
A young beef farmer in northern Pennsylvania, named Kyle, sustained an injury from a PTO entanglement incident. Since the incident, he has been working hard to regain his ability to work on the family farm using a prosthetic leg. AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians (AgrAbility PA) began working with Kyle to help him safely and productively overcome obstacles he faces on the farm.
Lewis Frame, a member of Delta Theta Sigma, organized the fundraiser to help Kyle purchase assistive technology to use around the farm. Members of Delta Theta Sigma, Alpha Zeta and Sigma Alpha participated in the Penny War competition. The dinner was hosted by Alpha Zeta and was attended by many people from the community. Support also came from the Poultry Science Club and the Collegiate Farm Bureau. AgrAbility PA also received a donation from Collegiate FFA to provide additional assistance to Kyle.
Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities for someone with a disability. For Kyle, assistive technology means many items and types of equipment on the farm. These funds will be put towards the purchase of accessible tractor steps and automatic gates. These devices will reduce the repetitive, strenuous movements on his leg and make it easier for him to move around his farm.
If interested in donating to Kyle or AgrAbility PA in general, contact Project Assistant Abbie Spackman at 814-867-5288 or email@example.com. Learn more about the AgrAbility Project by visiting www.AgrAbilityPA.org or search @AgrAbilityPA on social media.
AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians (AgrAbility PA) is a statewide partnership between Penn State Extension and UCP Central PA in support of a project funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
The AgrAbility PA project is designed to assist farmers and agricultural workers with disabilities or long-term health conditions by providing the resources and support they need to live independently and to continue working in or return to production agriculture.
The birth of a healthy new calf on the farm is cause for celebration! On a dairy farm, the birth of several new heifers can be the highlight of the year. Not to mention, new calves are super cute. 🙂
But combine a flood of new calves, cold weather, and a disability — suddenly calves are no longer so cute. In fact, caring for them can be a struggle. This is especially true for individuals who have mobility impairments, arthritis, or muscle weakness.
An assistive technology (AT) solution to help feed calves can be found in a milk taxi, calf mobile, or milk shuttle.
Milk Taxi by Holm & Laue
Options for these devices range from small and simple to large and complex, and can be fitted to most sized operations. Although there are many makes and models, the general concept includes an insulated or heated milk storage tank on wheels with an easy dispensing system. This tool can easily transport milk from the milk house to the calves. It eliminates lifting or carrying heavy buckets and saves time by reducing the number of trips back and forth.
Devices with a heating option can keep milk warm for longer periods of time, allowing the individual to work at a slow pace if needed. Most of these tools are also designed with self-cleaning or easy to clean setups.
Contact AgrAbility PA to learn about vendors and potential financial assistance options.
AgrAbility PA had a busy and productive year in 2016! It was filled with meeting new clients, farm assessments, outreach events, and more. The staff, which is comprised of members from Penn State University and UCP Central PA, traveled and networked throughout the state spreading the word about how AgrAbility can assist farmers and other agricultural workers with a disability or long-term health condition.
The services, resources, and support provided by AgrAbility PA have helped many farmers and agricultural workers to live independently and to continue working in production agriculture. AgrAbility PA is fortunate to have strong partnerships with the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), and other third-party funding sources to help farmers and farm families obtain needed equipment, assistive technologies, and modifications.
Here are some highlights from 2016:
- Staff met with hundreds of farmers and agricultural workers throughout the state over the last year, meeting one on one with more than two dozen people to provide farm assessments and individualized reports on recommendations.
- Most often, an all-purpose utility vehicle or some type of mobility device is recommended to help a farmer around their farm, but replacing old, unsafe tractor steps with new ones is second. Assistive technology is any item that is used to improve the functional capabilities for someone with a disability or long-term health condition. There are a host of options to consider on the farm!
- A contest was launched for Pennsylvania FFA chapter members to get involved with AgrAbility PA on a project level. Deadline for submissions is March 21, 2017. Details are available at: bridginghorizonspa.org
- Penn State’s Ag Progress Days in August proved once again to be a valuable event to attend and interact with those who could benefit from AgrAbility PA’s services.
- The National AgrAbility Project celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. September 19, 2016 was National AgrAbility Day.
- Pennsylvania legislators, supporters, and advocates gathered at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg in October to recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
- AgrAbility PA gained fans and followers on social media! Follow or like AgrAbility PA to stay up to date on project news, photos, events, and more – comments and shares are welcome! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- The AgrAbility PA Advisory Board continues to be an important piece to our success throughout the year. Thank you members for your time and commitment!
- Field Notes is the AgrAbility PA newsletter. It is published in print (twice a year) and electronic (monthly) versions. Join the mailing list by sending your email and mailing address to: AgrAbility@psu.edu.
The AgrAbility PA team is looking forward to an exciting year ahead in 2017. The New Year not only marks the fourth and final year in our current grant cycle, but it will bring the opportunity to focus on new challenges and opportunities, such as connecting with underserved populations and enhancing the overall impact that AgrAbility can have on the agricultural community.
launched a new contest open to students involved in Pennsylvania FFA Chapters. The contest is aimed at making a positive impact in communities across the state for farmers or agricultural workers with a disability or long-term health condition.
The contest is currently underway — but there is plenty of time to get involved and participate! Contact us directly to get ideas, gain insight, or to get started. Deadline for submissions: March 21, 2017.
Contact: Kendra Martin | Digital Media & Outreach Coordinator | AgrAbility PA
717.975.0611 ext. 128
The Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest provides an opportunity for the Pennsylvania FFA Association members to make a positive impact in their community to enhance independence and promote success of farmers and agricultural workers with disabilities or long-term health conditions.
The contest will accept entries in three categories:
1. Design and create an assistive technology table-top demonstration
2. Develop an AgrAbility PA promotional video
3. Complete a service project that helps farmers with disabilities and/or their family members
Monetary awards will be given to the one statewide winner in each category (3) and an overall winner.The winning entry in each category will be awarded $400; an additional $800 will be awarded to an overall grand-prize winner.
Learn more: http://bridginghorizonspa.org
This contest is in association with the AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians Project which is a statewide partnership with USDA-NIFA, Penn State Extension, and UCP Central PA.
One of the most common recommendations AgrAbility makes is for a utility vehicle (UTV). They are great solutions to assist individuals with mobility around the farm. There are many modifications and attachments that can then be added to UTVs to further assist the individual. One great modification, especially this time of year, is an enclosed cab with heat and air conditioning.
Cold weather can make it more difficult for individuals to manage their arthritis. Having a warm place protected from winter wind can help reduce symptoms. This is also a benefit to individuals who have cold sensitivities or individuals who cannot sense when their limbs are cold. As we all know, farmers work outside in all weather conditions. Taking proper precautions, taking breaks and working in warm environments is important. A heated UTV can make a huge difference!
A cab and heater can be added to most existing utility vehicles or a utility vehicle can be purchased with a cab and heater already installed. If you are interested in adding a cab and heater to an existing utility vehicle you should contact your dealer to determine if this can be done on the model you have.
Follow our Assisstive Technology board on Pinterest or in our monthly e-newsletter by joining our mailing list. Send your email address to AgrAbility@psu.edu to join!