Success Stories

Maine AgrAbility: Overview

Farming with a Disability: Holly

Farming with a Disability: Jesse

Lobster Fishing with a Disability: Steven

What AgrAbility Means to Walter Morse and Aaron Greene-Morse

Pietree Farm

On the Farm

Managing Pain on the Farm

Bangor Daily News

Program Helps Maine Veterans Learn to Farm (YouTube): For the past six months, Boots-2-Bushels has been teaching Maine veterans and their families how to farm. The program had to pivot in March when the coronavirus pandemic initially hit, but now small groups of veterans are back out in the greenhouse, working on their skills. For more, visit Video by Natalie Williams.

Learn More: Recorded Webinars

Have you wondered Is Farming for Me?  This short video talks about the considerations involved with this decision to work in production agriculture.

Managing Stress on the Farm. Farming can be stressful in the best of times. Financial worries, unpredictable weather, plant pests, livestock diseases, and isolation all contribute to farmers’ anxiety. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts can be common in our day and age. If you are concerned about yourself or about somebody else, help is available.

These live events have been recorded. Please contact us for more information or if you’d like to schedule a presentation for your group.

  • Arthritis and Agriculture: The importance of protecting your joints (06/02/20). Farmers lose quality-of-life because of chronic pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in and around the joints. Making small changes in their working routines and using Assistive Technology (AT) can significantly reduce injury to the joints. Watch this discussion of arthritis, the prevalence of the disease in farmers, and possible modifications to reduce its effects.
  • Assessing Your Pain (04/2021). This webinar discusses a pain assessment tool for farmers, as well as steps to reduce and manage pain in the future. It’s called “Managing Pain on the Farm: A Tool for Farmers”
  • Assistive Technology on the Farm (01/19/21).  This webinar presents how assistive technology (AT) can be used in a farm setting.  This webinar discusses how to reduce stresses and strains on the body due to lifting, bending, working in awkward positions, or just the general wear and tear of a typical work day. From simple levers, to wheels, to amazing gadgets, to smart technology, this webinar describes all kinds of ways to work smarter, not harder.
  • Everyday Ergonomics on the Farm (03/2021)Presentation by Maine AgrAbility as part of the March 2021 Self-Care Month for Maine Master Gardeners. This webinar presents stretches, work modification ideas, and assistive techniques to enable you to work safely and productively around the farm.
  • Hand Health (2/2022). This 7-minute video on hand health for farmers, covers common injuries, stretches, and solutions for better hand health. Presented by Corey Young, MOT student from the University of New England.
  • Managing Pain on the Farm with Maine AgrAbility (11/2021). This webinar was presented at the Maine OT (MeOTA) Conference to introduce how to use the Pain Guide Tool to help clients identify pain sources and suggest work accommodations.
  • Stress, Resilience, and Resources: Responding to the Impacts of Covid-19 on Farms. (05/20/20) Information about stress, building resilience, and available resources to meet farmers’ needs during this everchanging time.
  • The Essentials of Accessibility: School and Community Gardens (06/16/20). This webinar covers planning for school and community gardens for all users including those of all ages and abilities; how to go beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards; concepts on making the garden an enjoyable destination, creating opportunities for social connections, and a place that users will return to again and again; and assistive technology in the form of adaptive garden tools and products.
  • Veterans and Farming in Maine (01/22/21).  AgrAbility Veteran Outreach Coordinator Anne Devin describes her work with veterans who come to Maine seeking a quiet, rural lifestyle where they find productive work on the farm or in the garden. They are full of enthusiasm, perseverance, and problem-solving skills honed in the military, but as beginning farmers, they need business skills and “hands-in-the-soil” experience. Maine AgrAbility developed the Boots-2-Bushels program to provide a supportive, learning environment where veterans gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to take their business ideas to the next level.
  • Wearable Assistive Technology for Agricultural Workers (03/29/22). The webinar presents wearable assistive technology (AT) for use in agricultural lifestyles. Individuals working in farming, gardening, fishing, logging, and similar occupations can benefit from the use of AT to track their health and wellbeing and effectively manage their workload while increasing safety. We will be discussing AT wearables in the form of smartwatches and discover what options are available. Comparisons and contrasts of the top brands of wearables will be examined and the features and advantages of each showcased. Handout Comparison Chart (PDF)
  • What is Maine AgrAbility? (01/23/21). This webinar discusses the history and capacity of the Maine AgrAbility program: who it serves, how it works, the resources available.
  • Yoga for Farmers (01/21/21). Farmers encounter pain due to the nature of the work and environment.  This webinar presents exercises, stretches and yoga techniques to provide relief for stresses and strains due to farming.

Gardening and Ergonomics

Safe Lifting Techniques

Safe Stretching Techniques

Safe Harvesting Techniques

Victory Garden for ME: Pain-Free Gardening

Assistive Technology

Maine AgrAbility has produced a series of videos from Chapter Three Farm in Newburgh, Maine. These videos share background on the farmers, their farm, some of the chores they’ve had to modify and information about the different types of assistive tools and modified work routines they use to continue to work successfully and safely on their farm.

Chapter Three Farm: Intro

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Meet the Farmers

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Feed Station

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Ladder to the Loft

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Convertible Hand Truck

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Wheelbarrow

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Manure Management

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Storage Box

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Four Wheeler

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Horse Mounting Steps

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Conclusion

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: Four Wheeler with Spreader

Transcript (PDF)

Chapter Three Farm: York Rake

Transcript (PDF)