About Maine AgrAbility
Who can use Maine AgrAbility?
AgrAbility works with full-time and part-time farmers, farm workers, and farm family members with a chronic health condition or disability.
What is a chronic health condition or disability?
Any condition that prevents you from working on the farm in the way that you used to or in the way you need to in order to be successful. AgrAbility clients have a broad array of conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Back injury
- Hearing impairment or deafness
- Vision impairment or blindness
- Spinal cord injury
- Mental illness
- Cognitive impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cardiac problems
Does my chronic health condition or disability need to result from farming in order for me to qualify for AgrAbility?
How can AgrAbility help me?
Every situation is different. Possible services include:
- Answer questions or provide resources over the phone/email. Looking for a tough answer to what seems like a simple question? Call us anytime, if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find someone who does.
- On-site farm assessment. We will come to your farm and assess your worksite, tools, equipment, and crop and livestock management practices, specifically looking for ways to adapt/modify your worksite to make your work easier and more productive.
- Suggestions for adapting your worksite, tools, and/or equipment. Often, these are simple changes you can implement yourself. Sometimes they are more complex, in which case we can provide:
- Connections to funding possibilities. Maine AgrAbility does not have funds to purchase adaptive equipment, but we can help you connect to possible funding sources.
- Small business development/alternative enterprise education. In come cases, a chronic health condition or disability is too severe for a farmer to continue with his/her current farm operation. We will do everything possible to suggest alternative farm enterprises and provide education and support to help develop such an enterprise successfully.
- Referral to local services/resources. There are many agencies that can help with specific needs, but it can be confusing figuring out where to go. We can help you figure out who to call and how to reach out quickly and effectively.
How much will Maine AgrAbility cost me? Nothing. All Maine AgrAbility programming is funded through a grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. All services to consumers are free of charge.
Image Description: Extension expert with farmer in vegetable field. Photo by Edwin Remsberg