AgrAbility News for February 2021

Maine AgrAbility News

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine AgrAbility were recently awarded an Extension Risk Management Education Grant to support their Boots-2-Bushels (B2B) program. B2B is a comprehensive nine-month market gardening education and training program for military veterans, their family members, and farmers with disabilities in Maine. The program includes ten weeks of subject matter instruction and six months of hands-on production. The B2B program uses the “Five Fs” framework (Farming, Family, Finances, Future, Fitness) to address production, marketing, financial, and human sources of agricultural risk, and creates a near-peer cohort that fosters unit cohesion in an empathetic, therapeutic environment. The 18-month ERME grant will provide support for hands-on field work at a demonstration farm in 2021 and 2022, intensive individual follow-up in both years, and instruction and fieldwork in 2022.

Be sure to join Maine AgrAbility on March 23 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for the webinar, “Farming Smarter with Assistive Technology.” This presentation will discuss the use of common assistive technologies within the farm setting. This webinar will focus on how AT can be expanded for use in a farm setting, enabling a farmer to work smarter. A variety of assistive technology will be presented, discussing potential impacts on a farmer’s physical and mental health and on their farm business productivity. Participants will learn:

  • Ways assistive technology can help farmers work smarter and increase productivity
  • Where farmers can see and borrow some assistive technology devices
  • How to pay for assistive technology.

Register here: MaineCite Trainings


National AgrAbility News

Thank you to all our presenters and participants in the NTW virtual sessions! Presentations have all been recorded and are available on the NAP website.

The AgrAbility/North Central FRSAN webinar, “Stressors and Resources for Farm/Ranch Families with Disabilities,” featuring Bob Fetsch and Carey Portell, has been archived at

Toolbox Spotlight

image of tool

Measuring 24 inches long and weighing 5 pounds, the RotoShovel Cordless Handheld Shovel-Auger can be used for many different gardening and landscaping tasks, including planting vegetable crops, bulbs, annual flowers, even small trees and shrubs, digging postholes for fencing/mailboxes/signs, etc. With a press of the thumb trigger, its 12-volt battery-powered auger reportedly digs holes up to 3 inches in diameter and 7 inches deep in a matter of seconds; and its attached, removable shovel blade scoops out the soil as the holes are dug.