Farmer continues farming with help of Colorado AgrAbility
By D. Bruce Bosley
CSU Extension Agent/Cropping Systems
Dusty Franklin has been actively involved with farming since he was 6 years old. He has always wanted to be a part of agricultural lifestyle and when years of abuse to his back from heavy lifting, hard work, and years of farming resulted in compressed discs in his back and rheumatic arthritis, he thought his custom hay cutting business would come to an end. He was living daily with tremendous pain and each time he rode in his tractor or performed needed farm tasks, it would result in days of lost time and productivity to his operation. He was searching for alternative ways he might be able to continue with farming when he heard about Colorado AgrAbility.
An occupational therapist from AgrAbility visited Franklin and his family on their farm and provided a free analysis of his work site and made recommendations for modifications to equipment and in his work activities that allowed Franklin to return to a much more productive work life. AgrAbility partnered with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to make these changes to the Franklin’s farming business. The collaboration of these service providers has for this family made a difference between remaining in farming or leaving this beloved way of life.
Colorado AgrAbility will host nine free workshops across Colorado this winter. The workshop, “AgrAbility Farm/Ranch Adaptations & Financial Resources,” 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.
To pre-register or get more information about the Colorado AgrAbility Project, participants can contact Bob Fetsch at 970-491-5648 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.agrability.chhs.colostate.edu.
Colorado State University Extension and Goodwill Industries of Denver work together on the Colorado AgrAbility Project to provide disability workshops, on-site evaluations, resource information, equipment modification and assistive technology. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides funding for the Colorado AgrAbility Project.