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AgrAbility workshop in Mancos to address problems of aging

National project to hold event at SCCC
The CSU Extension office is on Main Street in Cortez.

The national AgrAbility project, which helps farmers with disabilities or other barriers to work, will hold a winter workshop at Southwest Colorado Community College in Mancos on Feb. 8.

The Goodwill Industries Denver Colorado AgrAbility Project is part of a national program that promotes independence for Colorado farmers and ranchers who want to continue farming or ranching despite physical limits and health conditions. In partnership with the Colorado State University Extension program, CAP is hosting winter workshops across Colorado this year. The themes for the workshops are: “What is AgrAbility?,” “How to Work Well with Ag Lenders and Bankers,” and “Saving Time and Money with Assistive Technology.”

AgrAbility provides “assistive technology” to farmers who struggle with aging or chronic conditions. For example, in 2015 Alec MacDuff, a Byers farmer who struggles with limitations caused by injuries he received in the U.S. Navy, received bionic gloves to ease arthritic pain, handle adapters to create a mechanical advantage on tool handles, a manure spreader and a milking machine that helped him overcome the grip strength problems of manual milking. AgrAbility provides financial assistance to farmers who need high-tech solutions to their mobility issues, as well as advice on how to increase effectiveness on the farm.

In Montezuma County, the AgrAbility workshop will be held Thursday, Feb. 8, in the ITC building at Southwest Colorado Community College, 33057 Highway 160, Mancos.

Presenters will include Norman Dalsted, a CSU professor and extension economist in farm and ranch management, and James Craig and Candy Leathers, rural rehabilitation specialists for AgrAbility.

This free educational event is open to all farmers and ranchers dealing with barriers created by illnesses, disabilities or other limitations. The workshop will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, call CAP program manager Candy Leathers at 720-539- 4435 or CSU extension director Tom Hooten at 970-565- 3123.

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