What’s New With AgrAbility Virginia

  AgrAbility Virginia is in the middle of the second year of its 4-year grant from the USDA / NIFA Special Project 2014-41590-22326. Members of the AgrAbility Virginia Team recently returned from the AgrAbility National Training Workshop (NTW), in Fort Collins, Colorado! Fortunately, we got out of town before the weekend snowstorm! The NTW is a gathering of staff from over 20 other State and Regional AgrAbility Projects (SRAPs),  as well as interested parties from other state agricultural programs, vocational rehab programs, veterans groups (including the Farmer Veteran Coalition), assistive technology specialists,  and many others. Two highlights of the event were keynote speakers, Temple Grandin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Grandin), livestock management specialist and autism educator and advocate, and Amberly Snyder (http://www.today.com/health/rodeo-champion-amberley-snyder-back-saddle-after-paralysis-6-years-t77946), who reclaimed her barrel riding stature after being paralyzed in a severe truck rollover. AgrAbility Virginia has been part of the planning and publicizing of the 7th Annual Small Farm Conference, at Virginia State University (VSU), September 20-22, 2016 http://www.vsu.edu/nationalsmallfarmconference/index.php, as well as working with the National AgrAbility Project to host a workshop for 1890s Land Grant Universities. This workshop will be held August 17-18, 2016, also at VSU....
CLICK John – Ankle & Foot Injury

CLICK John – Ankle & Foot Injury

JOHN, and his wife Sarah, live outside McDowell in Highland County. Together, they have raised horses, cattle and hay on 105 open acres. They market Certified Humane beef and can be reached at againstthewindranch.com. In the fall of 2009, John had a motorcycle crash resulting in a severe injury to his left ankle and foot. After surgery, John ended up at Wilson Workforce and  Rehabilitation Center for rehab therapy. Cynthia Kelley, John’s Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services Counselor, contacted AgrAbility, to see if we could be of service to John. The persistent pain of his injury was making it very difficult for John to perform his chores on the ranch, including riding his horse to work his cattle, and corralling and treating his cattle. The latter chore required a great deal of climbing, jumping, pushing and pulling, because his coral system was board fencing and aging chutes and gates. John was even considering abandoning ranching/farming all together. Steve Bridge and Kirk Ballin, with AgrAbility, along with DARS Staff, Cindy Kelley and DARS George Drummond, visited John’s ranch to make an assessment of what might be done to make John’s situation less difficult and more productive. It was determined that John’s problem with riding his horse was not something DARS could tackle, but addressing the inadequacies and challenges of his chutes and gates was solvable. Steve consulted with the County Extension Agent, Rodney Leech, and the Augusta County Co-operative and Cindy met with suppliers at the Rockingham County Beef Expo. Eventually, with financial assistance from DARS, a new system of chutes and gates was purchased, and installed. The results...
Clarke – Parital Foot Amputation

Clarke – Parital Foot Amputation

   CLARKE is a 35 year old male who resides in Broadnax, VA, in Brunswick County. He manages one of his father’s dairy farms of 300 dairy head. Additionally, he grows 1,200 acres of corn, 500 acres of soybeans, 500 acres of wheat and 400 acres of hay land. Clarke has been working on the family farm since he was 10 years old. In May 2010, Clarke suffered a serious injury when a soil pan mover hitch fell on his right foot. The injury resulted in the amputation of all of the toes on his right foot, except for his big toe. The loss of toes caused significant tenderness and pain to his foot. He also had a great deal of trouble maintaining his balance, particularly when walking on unleveled ground, resulting in frequent falls, thereby increasing his chances of a secondary injury. Clarke was treated for his injury by West End Orthopedics in Richmond. Part of the prescribed care was a prescription for a prosthetic foot to compensate for the lost toes. He was referred to Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics to have a prosthesis designed. Clarke also applied to Workmen’s Comp to cover the costs of the prosthesis. Unfortunately, a series of confusing communications, bureaucratic obstacles, and scheduling conflicts between the three offices, over a period of weeks, left Clarke giving up on ever getting the prosthesis. This is where AgrAbility stepped in. Service Coordinator, Joe Young, diligently and patiently contacted and worked with all the involved parties until Clarke was fitted with his prosthesis. The prosthesis has made a tremendous improvement in Clarke’s mobility and his ability to...