AgrAbility PA is a partnership between the Pennsylvania State University and UCP Central PA. Through networking and partnerships with agricultural and disability services, AgrAbility will engage in a strategic four-year plan to provide direct services for farmers with disabilities and build program capacity while increasing outcomes and impacts through the following four core objectives: direct assistance, education, networking, and marketing.The primary goal of AgrAbility PA is to provide comprehensive direct services to farmers, employees and farm family members with a disability or long-term health condition which impacts their ability to complete their necessary farm responsibilities. Direct services for AgrAbility customers include intake process, on-site farm assessments, identification and coordination of services, research related to appropriate assistive technology, comprehensive reports outline necessary services and assistive technology, advocacy, and follow-up services and farm visits. Funding of assistive technology is a high priority and staff will address this issue through unique ways to braid funding and financial education to assist customers planning to purchase assistive technology or equipment for their operation.During the 4-year project, AgrAbility PA looks to expand services to the following diverse populations: aging farmers, youth, new and beginning farmers, women, veterans, Amish/Anabaptist, and Spanish-speaking farmers. Educational materials and training opportunities which are culturally and linguistically appropriate will be developed with our partners and these partners will also assist in the distribution and delivery of these resources. These materials will be specially developed based on the needs of each diverse population to increase awareness of AgrAbility, use of assistive technology in agriculture, funding of assistive technology, and other topics identified for each group.In-person and online educational trainings will be developed and delivered to health care professionals as the frontline workers to identify potential AgrAbility customers. AgrAbility PA will work with the Penn State College of Nursing to develop and deliver training to rural health care providers in person and to a greater online audience. AgrAbility PA will provide educational materials and trainings to agricultural and disability organizations. By training frontline workers in health care, agriculture, and disability-services, this increases their understanding of AgrAbility services which can lead to increase referrals with the ultimate goas of agricultural producers with a disability or long-term health condition receiving the services they need to remain in production agriculture.Networking with agricultural and health organizations aligned with educational activities will enhance knowledge and collaboration to improve and expand services for AgrAbility customers. AgrAbility PA staff will partner with the National AgrAbility Project and State/Regional AgrAbility Project not only to learn new skills but to implement new collaborations to enhance and complete deliverables and outcomes. With the newly developed culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials, the networking with groups and organizations who work with targeted farm audiences (e.g., veterans, women, LatinX, etc.) will provide information exchanges with their audiences to increase customer referrals and increase knowledge about the role of assistive technology in agriculture. AgrAbility PA will explore volunteer opportunities for existing/past customers in a peer support network and those with a vested interest in AgrAbility for additional volunteer opportunities.Marketing of AgrAbility PA is a vital part of the project because it creates awareness of the project and services to target populations, policy makers and the general public. Activities include digital marketing efforts, print communication, media relations strategies, participation in outreach events, and explore innovative approaches.In summary, AgrAbility PA strives to provide the best customer services related to direct services for farmers and farm family members who have a disability or long-term health condition that is impacting their ability to complete necessary farm responsibilities. By increasing customer's abilities to complete farm tasks and enabling them to remain in production agriculture it benefits their family, their community, and our state. It is vital to keeps agricultural producers engaged in producing the much-needed food and fiber for our state and country. AgrAbility PA will maximize partnerships and collaborations through educational and marketing to increase awareness and knowledge about the positive impact of assistive technology in agriculture.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/21 → 6/30/25|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $183,840.00