Kelly Ewalt, Michigan State University Extension AgrAbility educator, will present a session at Ag Expo this year, explaining the program, “Michigan AgrAbility – What is it?” at 2:30 p.m. on July 19 and 20 and at 9:30 a.m. on July 21 in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) tent.
AgrAbility is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant-funded partnership of MSUE, Easter Seals Michigan, United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan and Michigan Farm Bureau, as well as Michigan Rehabilitation Services. Michigan AgrAbility helps people with disabilities who are employed in agriculture to continue to farm and to live independently.
Clients’ needs can vary widely. For example, through AgrAbility, clients with amputations might have additional steps put on their tractors. They might install drive-through gates so they don’t have to mount and dismount their tractors when entering pastures, and they may put in squeeze chutes to help control their animals. A client who doesn’t have the strength to push the brake or clutch petals down might receive advice on putting hand controls on tractors. One may need specially designed stairs to safely access the cab of a skid steer over the bucket.
AgrAbility staff members will make an on-site farm assessment, locate the equipment, help with installation and assist the farmer with learning to use it.
At Ag Expo, Kelly will demonstrate some common equipment modifications and discuss the services that AgrAbility offers.
Visit the Michigan AgrAbility website to find out more about the program: www.michiganagrability.org