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Colorado AgrAbility to host workshops


The health and safety of agricultural workers is not only a concern for themselves, but also for their families. Often, agricultural workers feel the need to push on without help because they feel they are being strong for their families. These workers will never be able to help their families unless they take good care of themselves. If they are less efficient at work or cannot go to work, they cannot bring home an income to their families. If the farmer or rancher comes home injured or exhausted, their families cannot depend on them to complete simple tasks at home that are crucial to family life.

A worker with a debilitating disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis might have difficulties using machinery. These diseases may be worsened by excess sun exposure out on the farm. Perhaps it is challenging for the worker to climb up on a piece of equipment. AgrAbility can help with these problems by suggesting simple equipment changes, gear modifications, or different methods that could be better for their health. With the help of AgrAbility, these workers can have the strength and vigor to help manage their farm or ranch, complete repairs around the house, or play catch with their kids.

Equipment changes, such as retrofitting a tractor with a swiveling seat and extra rails can sometimes make all the difference, allowing farmers and ranchers to get back to work. Colorado AgrAbility, a NIFA-funded program run by Colorado State University Extension and Goodwill Industries Denver, provides information and hosts local workshops for agricultural producers with disabilities about programs and tools to help them continue working in spite of their disability.

Colorado AgrAbility will host three free workshops in northeastern Colorado this winter, beginning Feb. 12 at the Phillips County Events Center in Holyoke, Colo. The workshop, "Gear for Working Smarter with AgrAbility," will take place from 9 a.m. to noon and includes lunch for those who pre-register at least one week prior to the workshop.

--Steamboat Springs: Jan. 16, Historic Courthouse, Commissioners' Hearing Room, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, with Todd Hagenbuch (970-879-0825).

--Trinidad: Feb. 6, Trinidad Junior College, Sullivan Student Center, 600 Prospect Ave., Trinidad, with Dean Oatman (719-846-6881).

--Pueblo: Feb. 8, Pueblo Zoo, 3455 Nuckolls Avenue, Pueblo, with Carolyn Valdez (719-583-6574).

--Holyoke: Feb. 12, Extension Office Events Center, 22505 Highway 385, Holyoke, with Dennis Kaan (970-345-2287).

--Ft. Morgan: Feb. 13, Ft. Morgan Extension Office, 914 E. Railroad Avenue, Fort Morgan, with Bruce Bosley (970-768-6449) and Luann Boyer (970-542-3544).

--Aurora: Feb. 14, Arapahoe County Fairgrounds & Event Center, Room 1, 25690 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora, with Sheila Gains (303-730-1920).

For more information about the Colorado AgrAbility Project or to pre-register, participants can call Bob Fetsch at 970-491-5648, email him at or visit

Date: 1/14/2013


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