Since 1992, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has received funding from the AgrAbility Project to provide education and technical assistance to agriculture operators and farm family members who face the challenges of a disability. Farm families may feel that problems such as these make it too difficult to continue farming activities. But with our help, they can! Kentucky AgrAbility assists rural and farm families in overcoming limitations.
For example, a typical tobacco and beef cattle farmer or grain producer can remain a vital part of the agriculture industry even after a permanent or temporary disability. Kentucky AgrAbility works to maximize these individual's abilities on the farm. Even if the disabled family member is not the producer, the farm family still suffers. That is why Kentucky AgrAbility also focuses on Kentucky farm women, older farmers, farm children, minorities, and limited resource farmers.
- Provide direct on-farm technical assistance, such as modifying tools, equipment, and machinery.
- Facilitate networking among farmers with disabilities to share ideas, experiences, and support.
- Help find financial support for assistive technology and farm equipment modifications.
- Network with national organizations that provide assistive technology for farmers with disabilities.
- Access and make recommendations to make homes and farm buildings more accessible.
- Refer individuals to appropriate agencies and organizations that best meets their needs.
- Train rural healthcare professionals and providers on Rehabilitation Technology in Agriculture.
- Participate in rural safety, injury prevention, and disability awareness and education programs.
What is Kentucky AgrAbility?
AgrAbility services are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and consist of a National Project and State/Regional Projects, each involving collaborative partnerships between land grant universities and various nonprofit disability services organizations to promote independence for people in agriculture who want to continue farming and ranching after experiencing a disabling condition. In Kentucky, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension partners with Easter Seals Cardinal Hill to deliver statewide services. Our project’s goal is to provide information to farmers or farmworkers and their families on assistive technology and farm site modifications that enable people with disabilities to remain involved in production agriculture.
Why is there a need for AgrAbility?
Agriculture consistently ranks as one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations. Each year, agricultural workers across the Commonwealth experience injuries that limit their ability to perform the essential tasks of their operation. Some agricultural workers acquire disabilities in off-the-farm incidents or through illness and health problems like heart disease or cancer. Senior farmers often experience limitations, such as arthritis, decreased vision or hearing and loss of strength.
Who can use Kentucky AgrAbility for Services?
Kentucky AgrAbility delivers services statewide to Kentucky farmers and ranchers with disabilities who are engaged in agriculture. Some disabilities may be present at birth, while others may be a result of accidents, injury, illness, or age–related conditions and may include but not limited to:
- Head or Spinal Cord injury
- Back pain or injury
- Visual or Hearing Impairment
- Respiratory Problems
- Cerebral Palsy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
If you or a family member have a disability and reside in Kentucky on a farm or ranch, and are engaged in farming, ranching or a farm-related occupation, Kentucky AgrAbility services may be a solution for you!
Read the latest from the National AgrAbility Project to learn how the program helps farmers return and continue productive farming.
The Kentucky AgrAbility Project is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, NIFA, under special project number 2014-41590-22317.