AgrAbility Harvest 2020 An ingathering of helpful information on disability in agriculture

Volume 11, Number 1
Cover Story


Diversification is an important principle in many areas – personal finance, corporate growth, organizational funding, and others. It can represent a means of minimizing risk (“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”), or it can reflect growth in mission.

As AgrAbility nears its 30th anniversary in 2021, it is clear that the program has diversified in significant ways since its inception. Some of the examples listed below have not only benefitted our clients but have also helped AgrAbility projects become more sustainable.

One area of growth has been the focused expansion of services to new or underserved Image of plant with roots, trunk, and five branches. At root, text reads "AgrAbility Mission." Text on trunk reads, "Core Services." Text on five branches, respectively, is "Underserved audiences," "Mental/behavioral heatlh," "International outreach," "AgrAbility Foundation," and "Future opportunities," (on top branch).audiences. Since 2013, the National AgrAbility Project (NAP) has increased its outreach to minority farmers and farmer veterans through special events and by maintaining staff members who concentrate on those populations. Starting in 2019, AgrAbility efforts through the NAP and in Missouri and Wisconsin have been augmented with funding through USDA’s 2501 program for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers/ranchers.

Mental and behavioral health, long-recognized as an important aspect of AgrAbility’s work, has received added emphasis in recent years through such initiatives as Mental Health First Aid, which is now offered at the AgrAbility National Training Workshop (NTW). In 2019, USDA further affirmed the importance of this issue through the establishment of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, which is described on page 5.

International outreach is also expanding. The website receives visits from more than 110 countries each year. In addition, AgrAbility welcomes international participants to the NTW, such as Mutumba Faisal of Uganda who attended last year’s conference. As a result, he has started AgrAbility for Africa (also discussed on page 5), which will be hosting its own workshop this April in Entebbe, Uganda. During 2019, NAP staff members also participated (through non-AgrAbility funds) in conferences in Canada, Ireland, and Italy, which included participants from more than 30 countries.

In addition, plans are in the works for launching the AgrAbility Foundation, an entity that could help ensure the long-term sustainability of the program and pro­vide funding for special activities and efforts in states without AgrAbility projects.

As AgrAbility continues to mature and agriculture continues to evolve, there will undoubtedly be new options for expanding AgrAbility services. When addressing such opportunities and challenges, our dedicated staff members at the national and state levels will strive to keep the program firmly rooted in the AgrAbility mission.

A Closer Look
A.T. Corner
Resources for Success
Partner Updates
On the Horizon