AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians Project (AgrAbility PA) will join the National AgrAbility Project, as well as other state and regional AgrAbility projects, to celebrate National AgrAbility Day on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.
National AgrAbility Day will occur as part of National Farm Safety and Health Week – Sept. 18-24, 2016. AgrAbility PA will be partnering with several organizations and agencies to share the news about the services and resources available to farmers or agricultural workers with a disability or long-term health condition.
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). AgrAbility PA has been providing resources and services since 1995. Some of the more common disabilities or health conditions that Pennsylvania farmers may have include: arthritis, spinal cord injury, amputation, traumatic brain injury, stroke, diabetes, visual or hearing loss, respiratory problems, and back impairment or joint injuries.
“This project has undoubtedly made a positive impact and has certainly improved the lives of farmers throughout Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Connie Baggett, project director for AgrAbility PA and associate professor of agricultural and extension education at Penn State University.
“As an agency committed to meeting the needs of individuals of all ages with all types of disabilities, UCP Central PA is pleased to be a partner on this project,” said Janeen Latin, chief management officer at UCP and non-profit project director for AgrAbility PA. “National AgrAbility Day offers an opportunity to raise the profile of the AgrAbility project as we continue to spread the word about how AgrAbility can help Pennsylvanians across the state working in agriculture with a disability or long-term health condition.”
Join us in celebrating National AgrAbility Day on Sept. 19! Here are some ways to get involved:
- Follow AgrAbility PA on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and more!
- Meet us at an event: AgrAbility PA is out and about throughout the year across the state. View our upcoming schedule of events.
- Know someone involved in Pennsylvania’s FFA? Tell them about the Bridging Horizons PA Contest for students in FFA. It is new for this year. More information is available at bridginghorizonspa.org.
- Visit a Farmers Market: Buy directly from the source! Make it an adventure and visit one in another town. A list of PA Farmers Markets.
- Contact a legislator: Share with them the news about AgrAbility and how important it is that Pennsylvania continue to support the agricultural industry.
- Check out The Toolbox: An online resource that contains assistive technology solutions for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. View by category or search the Toolbox to find products, designs, ideas, techniques, and suggestions.
- “25 Years, 25 Stories:” Read stories about people who have been positively impacted by working with an AgrAbility project in their state, including the Lehman brothers from Pennsylvania.
About AgrAbility PA
First authorized in the 1990 Farm Bill (but with funding appropriations beginning in 1991), the National AgrAbility Project began with eight state projects. The number of projects has since grown to a total of 20 this year. AgrAbility consists of the National AgrAbility Project (NAP) and state/regional AgrAbility projects (SRAPs), such as AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians Project. Each project involves collaboration between a land-grant university and at least one non-profit disability services organization.
AgrAbility PA provides a variety of services, at no cost, including:
- On-site farm assessments to identify barriers and challenges
- Identifying safe and appropriate assistive technologies, such as equipment, devices or efficient modified work practices
- Information referral on agriculture, safety, and disabilities
- Educational training opportunities
- Referrals to outside agencies for assistance, such as funding resources or occupational and physical therapy assessments
- Provide peer support to connect farmers with each other
AgrAbility PA does not provide direct funding, however, the staff works 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.