Colorado AgrAbility Project

Colorado AgrAbility Project


Did you know?

Colorado agriculture is a big, dangerous business. The state has 28,268 farms and it had 78 agricultural fatalities 1997-2000. Colorado has 1,600 injury compensation claims for agricultural-related injuries that result in a loss of over $8 million each year. There are an estimated 6,965-10,882 farmers/ranchers with disabilities.

The Colorado AgrAbility Project

The Colorado AgrAbility Project promotes success in agriculture for people with disabilities or other physical challenges and their families. Colorado AgrAbility is part of a nationwide network of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs begun through the 1990 Farm Bill. The goal of the National AgrAbility Project is to inform, educate, and assist farmers, ranchers, farm workers, and their families with disabilities, so they can continue to have successful careers in agriculture.

Farming and ranching are physically demanding and hazardous professions. Colorado AgrAbility and modern technology can help men and women with disabilities continue to do what they love--farm and ranch. AgrAbility can help by:

  1. Assessing agricultural work sites and tasks.
  2. Recommending farm equipment adaptation, home modifications, and adaptive equipment.
  3. Referring families to local service providers.
  4. Providing informational and educational winter workshops from CSU Extension for farmers, ranchers and family members with disabilities and the professionals who work with them.

To refer yourself, a family member, or a friend to AgrAbility, call Bob Fetsch (970-491-5648) or e-mail him at robert.fetsch@colostate.edu.

We've also developed Neighbor-to-Neighbor Support Training for farm/ranch families who want to provide support to others with a newly acquired disability or physical challenge. For more information, e-mail Bob Fetsch at robert. fetsch@colostate.edu.

AgrAbility Goals

Colorado State University Extension (Robert J. Fetsch) and Goodwill Industries of Denver (Jill Sump) collaborate in the Colorado AgrAbility Project (CAP). Project team members address all four National AgrAbility Program goals:

  • PRIORITY EDUCATION--Increase knowledge about accommodating disabilities and avoiding secondary injuries in persons with disabilities by providing education to individuals with disabilities and their families engaged in production agriculture , as well as to the health, farm, and government service providers who work with them.
  • PRIORITY NETWORKING--Build the capacity of the CAP to deliver services, through the development of networking activities that encourage the sharing of information among, and the provision of servicesor funds from individuals and organizations not employed by AgrAbility for the benefit of CAP and its clients.
  • PRIORITY ASSISTANCE--Provide individualized consultative information, education, service, and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers with disabilities. The goals of such consultations are to increase the likelihood that these farmers and ranchers and their farm operations will experience success and to provide: product selection advice, accessibility and ergonomic recommendations, life activities and farm operations planning advice, and advocacy to obtain service and financial assistance.
  • MARKETING--Increase awareness of CAP through press releases, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), print advertisements, Web pages, newsletters, displays, and/or electronic notices.