The Tennessee AgrAbility program

How many of you have heard of the Tennessee AgrAbility program? Well, like Extension, it’s another one of those best-kept-secrets! How can we help you to farm? Do you have a disability? AgrAbility programs exist to enable individuals and their families to continue living and working as productively as possible.

The Tennessee AgrAbility Project is a community-based program cooperatively offered by the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, Tennessee State University, USDA, and East Tennessee Technology Access Center.

Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations in America today. Additionally, the average age of a farmer is steadily increasing. As a consequence, thousands of Tennessee farmers experience either farm or non-farm related injuries or illnesses each year. For many of these farmers, these illnesses and injuries result in temporary or permanent disabilities that make their routine farming tasks difficult, if not impossible.

The Tennessee AgrAbility Project provides services to farmers, farm workers and family members with disabilities across the state. The mission of AgrAbility is to enable such individuals and their families to continue living and working as productively as possible.

Assistance is provided by utilizing a network of service providers. Individualized services include:

· Case evaluation

· Farm and home assessments

· Adaptation of equipment and facilities

· Links to financial assistance programs

· Assistance finding new career opportunities/placement

· Counseling and links to others with similar disabilities

· Agricultural counseling

· Farm safety and disability awareness education programs (including work with 4-H, FFA and YF&R)

· Awareness training to medical, rehabilitation, and agricultural professionals

· More services can be provided on an individual case basis

Individuals of any age, with any type of disability, and any type of agricultural occupation may qualify for assistance. For real life examples of what AgrAbility can do for you, check out the AgrAbility Facebook page

Please contact Karla Kean if you would like a referral for the AgrAbility program!