COUNTY AG NEWS
Where to turn when you need help
As I was shoveling snow Monday, I slipped and did something awful to my back. This got me to thinking about resources that are out there for folks on a farm that get injured. Some of you may be out there trying to manage farming with an injury or disability.
One of the resources out there for farms is AgrAbility. AgrAbility is a partnership between UW-Extension and Easter Seals of Wisconsin. This partnership helps farm families that are dealing with a farm injury, disability, or other limitation. The ultimate goal of the program is to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities or other limitations to help them succeed in their rural communities.
According to the AgrAbility website, around 38,740 Wisconsin farmer shave some type of limitation or disability. AgrAbility can help design a customized assistance plan based on the type of agribusiness, type of disability and the needs of the individual with the disability and his or her family. The plan may include: assistive technology, farm job restructuring, identification of funding sources, stress management, peer support involvement, farm safety, and community and health care coordination.
Some farmers and their families may not think of a health problem as a disability, even though the day to day tasks of an agribusiness may become increasingly difficult to perform. Many farmers will contact AgrAbility of Wisconsin, unsure if their disability is severe enough to be eligible for the program. The severity of a disability is not a factor of qualifying for the program.
AgrAbility of Wisconsin is designed to help farm families experiencing the effects of numerous disabling conditions including, but not limited to: arthritis; respiratory impairments; hearing and visual impairments; chronic back pain; amputations; other conditions.
AgrAbility has been working with farmers in Wisconsin since its inception in 1990 as part of the Farm Bill. AgrAbility of Wisconsin has been able to provide assistance to 2,500 farmers and farm families who have been able to continue farming or return to the farm worksite with the help of AgrAbility.