UMaine Cooperative Extension Offering Program to Assist Farmers and Farm Workers with Chronic Health Conditions or Disabilities
Contact: Corie Washow, (207) 353-5550 or 1-800-287-1458, or firstname.lastname@example.org
A national program aimed at helping farmers, farm workers and farm family members with chronic health conditions or disabilities continue to farm successfully and live independently is now available in Maine through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Maine AgrAbility, a collaboration between UMaine, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, and Alpha One, provides technical assistance and consultation services such as suggestions for modifying or adapting agricultural operations, buildings, equipment or tools.
The program is made possible through a 4-year, $668,282 grant from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). AgrAbility programs currently run in 25 states nationwide, and are coordinated by the National AgrAbility Project.
Maine AgrAbility services are available at no charge.
There are an estimated 5,700 farmers and farm workers in Main with a chronic health condition or disability. The program addresses a variety of disabling conditions, such arthritis, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, back impairments, amputations, brain injury, visual and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy and respiratory ailments.
The program also works with rural agriculture, rehabilitation and health care professionals to support Maine farmers with disabilities and their families. Maine AgrAbility also seeks to share information and resources across the state through networking activities.