Grant Awarded to Fund Colorado State University Coopertive Extension’s Agrability Program

A Colorado State University Cooperative Extension program was awarded a $600,000 grant to help farm and ranch families with disabilities.

The program, AgrAbility, which is co-sponsored by Easter Seals of Colorado, helps people in the agriculture industry who have been injured or disabled to continue working by finding ways around their disability and even incorporating it into their lifestyles.

"Through the program, Colorado farm and ranch families with disabilities will have more information, education and services to help them continue working," said Bob Fetsch, Colorado State Cooperative Extension family life specialist. Fetsch coordinates the Colorado AgrAbility program.

The program defines a disability as any impairment that keeps people from doing as much work as they used to, keeps them from doing necessary work on the farm or keeps them, their spouse or child from doing routine daily activities like walking, talking and playing. A disability recognized by AgrAbility could range anywhere from back pain and hearing loss to amputation or paralysis.

AgrAbility workshops are being offered this fall at no charge for farmers and ranchers with disabilities or those who have family members with disabilities. Workshops also are offered for professionals who serve this population.

The workshops are designed to give farmers and ranchers information and education about lifestyle changes that they can make so they can continue working. Workshop participants learn about the use of assistive technology to overcome obstacles. Workshops also provide families with research-based information on coping well with disabilities and address some of the emotional needs of those adjusting to life with disabilities.

Free workshops are scheduled around the state and begin in November. Morning workshops are for farmers and their families; afternoon workshops are for professionals who work with them. The registration deadline for all workshops is one week before each workshop starts.

For more information about AgrAbility or a workshop schedule, call Bob Fetsch at Colorado State Cooperative Extension at (970) 491-5648 or (970) 491-5889.

AgrAbility workshops scheduled in Colorado:

Northwest Colorado

  • Workshop date: Wednesday, Nov. 13. Registration deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 6.
    Colorado State Cooperative Extension Moffat County office, 539 Barclay St., Craig
    Contact Elisa Shackelton, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (970) 824-9180
  • Workshop date: Friday, Nov. 15. Registration deadline: Friday, Nov. 8.
    Area Vocational Technical Center, 1765 U.S. Hwy. 50, Delta/Montrose
    Contact Robbie Baird LeValley, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (970) 874-2195

Southwest Colorado

  • Workshop date: Tuesday, Dec. 10. Registration deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 3.
    Colorado State Cooperative Extension office, 344 Hwy. 84, Pagosa Springs
    Contact Bill Nobles, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (970) 264-5931
  • Workshop date: Wednesday, Dec. 11. Registration deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 4.
    Empire Electric Association Facility, 801 N. Broadway, Cortez
    Contact Kenny Smith, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (970) 565-3123

Northeast Colorado

  • Workshop date: Tuesday, Jan. 14. Registration deadline: Tuesday, Jan. 7.
    Central Services Building, 508 S. 10th Ave., Sterling
    Contact Jan Nixon, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (970) 522-3200, Ext.0
  • Workshop date: Thursday, Jan. 16. Registration deadline: Thursday, Jan. 9.
    Island Grove Regional Park Fairgrounds Bunkhouse, 607 N. 15th Ave., Greeley
    Contact Jerry Alldredge, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (970) 356-4000 Ext.4474

Southeast Colorado

  • Workshop date: Tuesday Jan. 21. Registration deadline: Tuesday, Jan. 14.
    Colorado State Cooperative Extension Otero County office, 411 N. 10th St.,
    Rocky Ford
    Contact Bill Hancock, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (719) 254-7608
  • Workshop date: Thursday Jan. 23. Registration deadline: Thursday, Jan. 16.
    San Luis Valley Information Center, 947 1st Ave., Monte Vista
    Contact Marvin Reynolds, Colorado State Cooperative Extension
    (719) 274-5200