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Rehabilitating Wyoming Ranchers and Farmers

A workshop to help both rehabilitation and agriculture professionals provide better care for ranchers and farmers with disabilities is July 30-31, near Lingle in southeast Wyoming.

"Rehabilitating Wyoming Ranchers and Farmers," presented by Wyoming AgrAbility, will take place at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center.

"Agriculture is one of the most dangerous professions in Wyoming. Though ranching and farming is a rewarding job, it can also be risky with potential primary, secondary or repetitive stress injuries resulting in physical limitations on the job," said Wyoming AgrAbility's project director, Professor Randy Weigel, a human development specialist with the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.

Weigel said the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information estimates that each year 17 percent of ranchers, farmers, and agricultural workers are injured.

"Many of them are unable to return to work without some sort of therapy," Weigel said. "Occupational and physical therapists, vocational rehabilitation counselors, independent living specialists and healthcare providers play an important role in helping them return home, where they can work and live safely and productively."

During the workshop, professionals from Wyoming and beyond who work with ranchers, farmers and farm workers will present topics designed to increase the knowledge of work-related tasks and skills to help rehabilitate producers with disabilities.

"There will be several hands-on sessions including livestock handling, irrigation and cropping tasks," Weigel said.

The registration fee is $50. For more information, call Wyoming AgrAbility at (307) 766-3052 or, toll-free, (866) 395-4986, or e-mail agrability@uwyo.edu.

The goal of AgrAbility is to help producers with disabilities to continue working on their ranches and farms. Services, including training and on-site visits, are available free of charge from AgrAbility.

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