AgrAbility News for January 2020

Maine AgrAbility News

NEW! The Maine AgrAbility Blog: Gotta Lotta Livin’ To Do!  A blog series that deals with issues surrounding aging, farming, and quality of life. We’ll be adding new blog posts twice a month. Check it out!

Maine AgrAbility project director Richard Brzozowski recently finalized the following University of Maine Cooperative Extension publications which can be useful for career exploration and skill-building:

  • Farmer Skill and Knowledge Checklist for Calf Care and Calf-Rearing #1047
  • The Benefits and Drawbacks of Farm Work Experience in Maine #1063


Another publication just finished is Preparing for Agricultural Worksite Assessments. This was adapted from the AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians program. The goal is to better prepare farmers and service providers for an on-site AgrAbility visit


Maine AgrAbility staff and advisory council members shared the 3-day schedule providing coverage at the AgrAbility booth at the Annual Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta on January 14, 15 and 16.   The exhibit theme was ‘What stresses you out on the farm?’ with an interactive display and resources.

We also shared new stickers with tractor and equipment operators to help reduce the risk of errors in refueling their equipment.


On January 15, 2020, Ellen Gibson presented information about AgrAbility and Universal Design as part of the Beginning Farmers Resource Network of Maine’s session on Increasing your Scale and Efficiency with Mechanization.

On January 18, 2020, Richard Brzozowski exhibited Maine AgrAbility information at the Downeast Agriculture Conference: Land-Sea Connections. About 80 people attended the day-long conference in Machias, Maine. On January 22, 2020, Kelley Spencer of Maine Assistive Technology Solutions, shared AgrAbility information at the annual meeting for the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association and the Maine Arborist Association.

Mental health resources compiled through AgrAbility efforts were shared as part of the January 2020 Farm and Food System Newsletter. This is a monthly publication covering a variety of topics, resources, and events for Maine farmers.

We said farewell and good luck to Marie DeFranca in January 2020. As part of Marie’s 6-month temporary position with us, she was vital in seeing through the completion of the Pre-ETS summer work experience and actively helping youth explore work opportunities. Marie’s knowledge of working with youth with disabilities and her willingness to help make connections for this part of the project was appreciated.