Tawnie Larson Kansas State University Project Coordinator
The Kansas AgrAbility Project’s primary purpose is to assist Kansas farmers/ranchers, their employees, and family members who have become injured, have a health condition, or a limitation to remain actively engaged in production agriculture for as long as they choose.
It is estimated that more than 9,000 full-time or part-time Kansas farmers, ranchers and their workers have restrictions that interfere with their ability to work in production agriculture. For many of these individuals, the presence of a limitation jeopardizes their rural and agricultural futures. Rural isolation and gaps in rural service delivery systems, compounded by farm family’s self-reliance, frequently prevent agricultural workers with health conditions or disabilities from taking advantage of growing expertise in modifying farm operations, adapting equipment, promoting farmstead accessibility, and using assistive technologies to safely accommodate limitations in agricultural and rural settings. Yet, with some assistance, the majority of agricultural workers with disabilities can continue to earn their livelihoods in agriculture and participate fully in rural community life.
The Kansas AgrAbility Project provides a wide range of no-cost assistance to farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers who have health conditions or disabilities. This assistance includes information on how to accommodate barriers and maintain a rural life-style by modifying equipment, structures, and operations. Farmers, ranchers and farmworkers with any type of physical, cognitive, or sensory condition (e.g., amputation, traumatic brain injury, hearing impairment) that interferes with their ability to do their agricultural work or activities of daily living are eligible for AgrAbility services.
Kansas AgrAbility Agriculture Assistive Technology Specialists combine their knowledge of agriculture with assistive device expertise to provide farmers, ranchers and workers with health conditions or disabilities the specialized services they need to safely accommodate their activities in everyday farm/ranch operations. Furthermore, the project engages extension educators, disability experts, rural professionals, and volunteers in offering an array of services to serve all 105 counties in Kansas without age and income considerations.
Direct assistance provided by Kansas AgrAbility staff includes:
- Reviewing agricultural worksites and suggesting modifications
- Suggesting ways to modify equipment
- Analyzing agricultural tasks and providing guidance on how to restructure them
- Providing on-site technical assistance on adapting & using farm/ranch equipment and tools, and on modifying farm/ranch operations & buildings if needed
- Finding services that meet specific needs
Kansas AgrAbility customers or potential customers can call 1-800-KAN DO IT (1-800-526-3648). The KAN DO IT line will connect the client with the nearest Assistive Technology Access Site. The client’s information will be referred to one of three Agriculture Assistive Technology Specialists who will make direct contact with the customer.
Website – www.agrability.ksu.edu
Email – email@example.com
Telephone – 1-800-KAN-DO-IT
KAP is a partnership between Kansas State University, Southeast Kansas Independent Living, and Assistive Technology for Kansans at the University of Kansas. Through these partnerships and in cooperation with multiple agricultural and disability service organizations, Kansas AgrAbility continues to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers.
Dr. David Terry, psychiatrist & member of Physicians for a National Health Program
AgrAbility is a national network of programs funded and administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), twenty-one states (including Kansas) have AgrAbility Projects. Supported under Special Project Number 2018-41590-28719 through USDA-NIFA.