Nov 072002
Authors: Helyna Bledsoe

Farming and ranching can be physically demanding. Some tasks are very dangerous and one wrong move could leave farmers and ranchers permanently disabled.

Colorado AgrAbility is part of a national program begun in 1990 with the hope of informing, educating and assisting farmers with disabilities so that they might be able to continue their agricultural way of life.

“Anywhere from one to 12 people attend each workshop,” commented Bob Fetsch, AgrAbility project director. “Half of the workshop is dedicated to disabled workers, the other half is for their colleagues,”

CSU and Easter Seals have been conjointly running this program for five years, Fetsch said. The free six-hour workshops teach participants about technology that can assist them and also how their lifestyle can be changed to meet their emotional needs.

“Through the program, Colorado farm and ranch families with disabilities will have more information, education and services to help them continue working,” Fetsch said.

“I think it’s nice that people involved in the agriculture business are being assisted,” said Pia Khandekar, freshman psychology major. “It’s good that people are becoming more aware and helping people with disabilities, especially those involved in agriculture.”

Workshops throughout the state begin this month and will continue through January. Everyone is welcome to attend and learn about coping with disabilities.

Edited by Shandra Jordan and Colleen Buhrer

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