Successful farming after a disabling accident

Michigan AgrAbility works with farmers to modify equipment and work safely after accidents or illness.

Michigan AgrAbility is a USDA grant-funded program housed at Michigan State University Extension (MSUE). This partnership between MSUE, Easter Seals – Michigan and United Cerebral Palsy Michigan provides information to farmers, farm workers, and their families on equipment modifications and assistive technology, as well as educational sessions to rehabilitation and health care professionals to assist in meeting the unique needs of the agriculture population. Clients come to the program after on- or off-farm accidents, or with chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, or visual/hearing impairments. Any physical or mental condition that makes production farming difficult qualifies for AgrAbility services.

To date, Michigan AgrAbility has worked approximately 216 clients in 57 Michigan counties. When a client enters the program, we contract with an agricultural rehabilitation professional who performs the on-farm assessment and makes recommendations. Examples of modifications that can be recommended include additional steps, lifts, drive through gates and automatic waterers. If a situation calls for an item that isn’t already developed, the AgrAbility team will work with the farmer to develop a unique solution. While the service itself is free, the program cannot pay for accommodations or recommendations, however, there are many low interest loans available, and staff will research other funding options.

Contact the Michigan AgrAbility office for more information. 

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