Sunday, April 13, 2014

Helping Disabled Farmers

So two weeks ago my mom and grandpa took a trip to Kentucky for the National AgrAbility Conference. 
Here is a little about AgrAbility, "it is a program sponsored by the USDA that provides assistance to farmers, ranchers, other agricultural workers, and farm family members impacted by disability. It consists of a National Project and State/Regional Projects (currently serving 24 states), each involving collaborative partnerships between land grant universities and various nonprofit disability services organizations."

So what does AgrAbility do?
"The vision of Agrability is to enable a high quality lifestyle for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. Through education and Assistance, AgrAbility helps to eliminate (or at least minimize) obstacles that block success in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations."

What services does AgrAbility provide?
  • Conducting on-site assessments to identify barriers to completing tasks both inside and outside the home
  • Recommending appropriate assistive technologies, modified work practices, and/or other possible solutions to overcoming disability-relates limitations
  • Providing access to information materials on a variety of topics related to disability and agriculture
  • Referring customers to other services providers for potential assistance specific to the clients' needs
  • Arranging for peer support opportunities that connect customers with others who have successfully accommodated their disabilities 

Here are the sessions they went to:
  • Modern Beekeeping
  • Are Sheep and Goats in Your Farming Future?
  • The Use of Custom Seating to Accommodate Severe Back Impairment on the Farm
  • Adaptive Recreation for Folks with Disabilities
  • AgrAbility Adaptive Technology in a Box for Farmers and Ranchers
  • Aging and Farmers: Understanding "Normal" and Adapting to Changes
  • Caring for Caregivers
  • Assistive Technology Show and Tell

Here are images from the Show and Tell

This image and video shows how a wheelchair can get into and out of a truck.

If you notice the image above not only is there a seat lift but the step is on hydraulics. This is beneficial for someone with arthritis or limited range of motion. All they do is stand on it and it will raise up to get into the truck easier. 

This picture shows both a seated lift on the left and a standing lift on the right.

I'm just scratching the surface of this topic. It is close to our families heart and hope to share more on it in the future. If you would like more information or have questions feel free to ask or check out AgrAbility's website.


  1. Wow, this sounds like some impawtent stuffs! Did you know that our church does Beekeeping? Thanks for all the info!

    Your Doodle Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. How times with modern technology have moved on. So happy to read that those with disabilities can still be active in a farming environment. Wonderful. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. This is very interesting!

    Lots of Woofs from Earl an I at Earl's World!

  4. What an amazing group. Thanks for teaching us about it.

  5. A John Deere machine with assistive devices?!? Now THAT is cool, Spencer! What a great thing AgrAbility is doing.
    *high paw*

  6. Wow! Thats great what they are doing!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!