AgrAbility is a consumer-driven USDA-funded program that provides vital education, assistance, and support to farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Through the combined dedication and expertise of the Cooperative Extension System and nonprofit disability organizations, AgrAbility helps thousands of determined individuals overcome the barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture.
AgrAbility received its first federal funding in 1991 and was implemented as recommended in the 1990 Farm Bill. Each year, competitive projects have been awarded to Cooperative Extension Services that have joined with nonprofit disability organizations to educate and assist agricultural workers with disabilities and their families. In addition to the state project grants, one national grant provides additional support for a national AgrAbility project involving Purdue University and Goodwill Industries. These national partners joined to provide technical assistance and professional training for the state projects and to produce resource materials and conduct information dissemination activities related to the project.
The activities of the AgrAbility program demonstrate the ability of extension services to respond to local needs and make a difference through collaborative partnerships. Perhaps most importantly, they illustrate how much we can collectively benefit by providing opportunities, expanding boundaries, and making it possible for people to hope.
AgrAbility program services are provided through state projects and the National AgrAbility Project at Purdue University. Farmers, ranchers, farm workers, or their family members who are engaged in farm-related occupations and who have disabilities may contact their state AgrAbility director or Web site for information on what services are available. If no state AgrAbility project is available, contact the National AgrAbility Project for information.