The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced this week that Purdue University will receive a grant to continue hosting the National AgrAbility Project (NAP). The grant will be in place from 2016 to 2020.
The National AgrAbility Project (NAP) brings together the expertise of a range of partners to encourage individuals with disabilities to get or stay involved in agriculture and become successful. Partners in NAP include Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), Colorado State University, as well as faculty collaborators from Washington State University and the University of New Mexico. NAP also enhances the involvement of Extension educators at 1890 and 1994 Land Grant institutions and encourages veterans with disabilities to consider agricultural production as a career.
“Agricultural safety and access are key to a thriving agricultural community,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Through our investments in AgrAbility, we are providing assistance and educational resources to help people with disabilities manage their ranches and farms.”
AgrAbility is a NIFA program that invests in national, state, and regional projects to provide education, assistive technology and other support to current and prospective farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers with a disability or long-term health condition. AgrAbility helps thousands of individuals, including older farmers and the veteran community, overcome the barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture.
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.
AgrAbility PA provides the following services at no cost:
- On-site farm assessments that help identify barriers to successful completion of everyday tasks
- Identification of safe and appropriate modifications, equipment, or assistive technologies
- Peer and caregiver support
- Educational opportunities such as farm safety days, presentations to health care and rehabilitation professionals, county crop and dairy days, and statewide agricultural expositions
- Referrals and information about state and local resources