Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring on Feb. 2, but most of Pennsylvania experienced cold temperatures and snow for the better part of the month. Here's hoping March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb. And we would prefer it to be a Nittany Lion, of course. 😉
Regardless, our staff kept warm and thought about spring as we attended several events from growers conventions to farming conferences.
Here's a recap of our latest round of appearances:
AgrAbility PA participated in the 25th Annual Farming for the Future Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). This was an excellent opportunity to share AgrAbility PA information with farmers, educators, community and state leaders, and network with other exhibitors. Our staff concentrated on the idea that our services and assistive technology is a key part of the future of agriculture and sustainability. Staff also emphasized information on proper lifting techniques, general farm safety, and arthritis.
Our staff has been participating in extension crop and dairy days across the state. These day-long events provide pesticide application credits, updates on the latest farming technology, and more. These events are also a social and networking time for many production farmers. Our staff networks with the farmers during break times and encourages them to spread the word about AgrAbility PA services.
AgrAbility partnered with the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) to exhibit at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Growers Convention. This created an opportunity to reach out to growers who have labor intensive operations. There was a large interest in arthritis information, especially related to pruning and other repetitive tasks.
The winter weather has not slowed down our case coordinators farm visit schedule. In fact, the weather conditions have provided time for some clients to slow down and consider needed changes on the farm. Currently, client operations range from dairy goats to specialty crops and egg productions, but with a high percentage being traditional dairy farm families.
As the spring weather arrives, our staff will be working heavily with PA's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to install equipment modifications and assistive technology on farms all across the state.
Here's to spring!