Skip Navigation
Return to Layout View | Home | A-Z Directory | MaineStreet | Campus Map | Calendar
Follow UMaine on Twitter | Join UMaine on Facebook | Watch UMaine on YouTube | Admissions | Parents & Family | Apply to UMaine | Give Now | Emergency

Maine AgrAbility

Site Navigation:

Maine AgrAbility Helps Pietree Orchard

Farming is a tough business, but people of all kinds of abilities can farm successfully.  Read more at Pietree Orchards website.

AgrAbility National Training Workshops Archived

The AgrAbility Virtual National Training Workshop is an annual web conference consisting of a series of webinars conducted over three days.  Webinars offered included:

More information is available on the National AgrAbility program website.


What’s possible: Maine AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities remain active and independent

Naomi King, a Unitarian Universalist minister and daughter of authors Tabitha and Stephen King, moved to Sweden, Maine in 2012 to be closer to her family after her rare muscular disorder started to advance. King, who uses a wheelchair, took the management job at the family-owned farm business.

By February 2013, the challenges of managing a successful, growing mid-size farm began to take a toll.

“I was at the point where I could not work at all here anymore,” King says.

Then King discovered a reference to the National AgrAbility Project online. When she learned there was a Maine program, King contacted Maine AgrAbility Project Coordinator Lani Carlson to determine if the program would apply to her.

Maine AgrAbility, a USDA grant-funded state program helps farmers with chronic health conditions and disabilities gain more control of their lives, continue to farm successfully and live independently. The Maine AgrAbility program is a nonprofit collaboration of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One.

Since receiving USDA funding in 2010, Maine AgrAbility has assisted more than 160 Maine farmers who have disabilities by offering services that range from answering agricultural questions, to suggesting ways to adapt tools or work sites, to referring farmers to other local support agencies.

“I was tremendously discouraged and convinced I couldn’t do anything related to the farm anymore,” King says. “So to be able to come to work six days a week is invaluable to me. It gives me a lot of purpose.”

Read more about King’s experience with Maine AgrAbility.

Image Description: Naomi King and Alexandra Tomaso in an apple orchard

Low Vision Gardening

The American Council of the Blind of Maine (ACB of Maine)  shared an article written by David Perry.  David talks about his experiences of  gardening with a vision impairment. The article, Low Vision Gardening, shares tips on planning, organizing and being in the garden as well as how and when to ask for assistance.

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference – December 17-19, 2013

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference and Trade Show
Tuesday through Thursday, December 17-19, 2013
Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire

The New England Vegetable and Fruit (NEVF) Conference will include more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion on certain issues. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors.

The conference is put together with close collaboration between growers and Cooperative Extension from across the region. This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives.

For more information and to register, please visit the NEVF Conference website,

Diabetes Awareness Month & World Diabetes Day November 14

Diabetes can affect anyone.

A farmer with diabetes should consider their health needs before starting their daily chores. It’s important to pace work throughout the day considering physical endurance as well as food breaks and maintaining communication with someone else nearby.

Physical endurance:

Sense of touch and circulation in extremities:

Because blood-sugar levels change in relation to activity level and diet, be sure to always have an established source of communication to summon help if needed ie: intercom system, radio or cell phone. Also make sure someone knows where you are and when you should be done.   Additional ideas can be found on the Ohio AgrAbility Fact Sheet: Farming with Diabetes, AEX-982.6-11.


Image Description: Diabetes Awareness Month & World Diabetes Day November 14

mPower! Financing Adaptive Equipment & Technology

This free webinar explores Maine’s mPower Loan Program – offering low interest financing that increases the purchasing power of people with disabilities in Maine.

Jeremy Libby, Independent Living Specialist from Alpha One reviews the mPower Loan Program application process and loan eligibility. The mPower Loan Program was created more than 20 years ago as a revolving fund and hundreds of loans have been made and paid back over the years. The presentation will outline many types of adaptive equipment, assistive technology, vehicles and home access modifications that can be bought using mPower funds.

Complete information on how to register for this webinar may be found on this link to the Maine CITE Training page.

Livestock producers who suffer from arthritis can learn ways to manage pain and prevent injury.

The National AgrAbility Project  at Purdue University will host the free webinar to provide an overview of the tasks related to livestock production and to show the relationship between arthritis pain management and those tasks. “Osteoarthritis, Joint Stress and Injury Prevention in Livestock Production” will be on November 19, 2013 at 3 p.m. (EST).   Webinar to help livestock producers cope with arthritis



Maine Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Maine Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting!

November 9 – 11, 2013 at the  Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center, Bar Harbor, Maine

62nd Annual Meeting  (hosted by Washington-Hancock County Farm Bureau)

Image Description: Photo: In Bar Harbor at the annual Maine Farm Bureau meeting.

Farmer Veteran Coalition

The article entitled Swords Into Plowshares discusses Michael O’Gorman’s efforts in establishing the Farmer Veteran Coalition in Davis, CA.  The Maine chapter is currently being established to assist veterans in Maine. For more information contact:



Find us on Facebook

"Like" Maine AgrAbility on Facebook!

Twitter icon

Follow Maine AgrAbility on Twitter!

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Maine AgrAbility
75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104
Falmouth, Maine 04105
Phone: 207.944.1533 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System