AgrAbility News for February 2022
Maine AgrAbility currently has a master’s OT student doing her 12-week, level 2 fieldwork experience with them. Corey Young, University of New England (UNE), grew up on a dairy farm in southern Maine. Corey has been creating AT bulletins to share with B2B students, including a presentation on hand health for farmers and gardeners. Staff will be posting this presentation to the Maine AgrAbility video webpage in the near future.
2022’s Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners and Farmers has finished the first two months of programming covering topics like safe food handling, crop planning, and small fruit and vegetable production. Each session has included relevant AgrAbility topics and AT ideas. On the B2B horizon: a seedling production farm visit in Damariscotta at Morning Dew Farm.
Maine’s first month of Who’s Got Your Back blog posts focused on fishing-related work tasks, counter stretches, and resources to encourage better health to minimize injury and pain. This effort is a collaboration of FishAbility, OryxWorx and Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, and has been shared widely on social media platforms to generate conversations and sharing of resources.
Staff have been busy sharing Maine AgrAbility resources to a variety of audiences: talking to OT students about AT ideas at UNE, beginning farmers as part of UMaine Cooperative Extension’s “So You Think You Want to Farm in Maine? ,” and veterans participating in B2B sessions. Staff have also participated in meetings and shared resources with agriculture service providers working with the Farm & Ranch Stress Assistance Network in New England and Maine, including fishing and logging industry professionals.
Workers with leg, arm, and back impairments can feed calves in hutches or pastured livestock with a Feed and Water Transport Wagon. Feed and water can be dispensed directly to troughs without lifting and carrying buckets by hand. The towable wagon consists of a feed hopper and a water tank (both polyester) mounted on a rubber-wheeled steel frame with hitching tongue. Custom-built according to users’ needs, hopper sizes range from .8 to 2.8 tons and tank sizes from 250 to 275 gallons. Unloading the feed is accomplished via an electric or hydraulic motor connected to the towing vehicle, while the water is dispensed via a gas-powered pump or gravity-flow through a hose.