Farm Aid ’17: AgrAbility projects team-up for star-studded event to aid farmers

It didn't take much to convince 22,000+ people to flood the KeyBank Pavilion on Sept. 16 in Burgettstown, Pa. (near Pittsburgh) to support farmers and agriculture -- Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, and several other artists certainly helped. 🙂

We're talking about Farm Aid -- Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land. Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001. Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on the land.

Homegrown Village


In The Homegrown Village, thousands of festival goers explored interactive exhibits and activities. Food and farm groups from across the country showcased exhibits, including AgrAbility projects from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Trying out assistive technology

Festival goers could get their hands dirty by trying out assistive technology equipment in raised garden beds, sat inside a modified John Deere tractor, and held ergonomic tools, gloves, and other devices. Many farmers with a disability or health condition that AgrAbility works with use several of these tools, devices, or modifications on their farms.

Lisa Pfeifer (Ohio AgrAbility),  Kendra Martin (AgrAbility PA), and Jessi Wright and Doug Cumpston (West Virginia AgrAbility) collaborated to pull together AgrAbility's presence at the event. Farm Aid was thrilled to have AgrAbility a part of the event, and asked about additional resources and information that could be posted to their website, social media, and other materials.

This team is looking forward to next steps and future collaboration, not only with Farm Aid, but even more as a tri-state area that have AgrAbility projects in connecting states. 

To learn more about AgrAbility, visit the National AgrAbility Project.

State Project Links:
West Virginia

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