Members of the AgrAbility PA staff traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, to attend the 2017 AgrAbility National Training Workshop, March 20-23.
Abbie Spackman, case coordinator and project assistant, and Kendra Martin, digital media and outreach coordinator, as well as a farmer and an occupational therapist represented AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians (AgrAbility PA) at the national workshop. The workshop was packed full of speakers, educational sessions, networking opportunities, hands-on demonstrations, and farm tours. Topics included service to veterans, assistive technology, financial assistance, new and beginning farmers, health and wellness sessions, sustainability, outreach strategies, and more. Sessions also included information on farming with a brain injury, mental health, urban agriculture, military culture, and niche markets.
Highlights included an update from Aida Balsano, national program leader with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture; motivational speaker Ashlee Lundvall, who was paralyzed in a ranching incident in 1999, spoke at the annual banquet dinner; and assistive technology demonstrations and tours of local Tennessee farms involved in farm to table and hydroponic operations.
Overall, the 2017 AgrAbility National Training Workshop was a great learning experience and provided an opportunity to connect with dozens of people committed to the mission of AgrAbility: to promote success in agriculture for farmers with a disability or long-term health condition.
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). Learn more about AgrAbility PA by visiting www.AgrAbilityPA.org or search @AgrAbilityPA on social media.