Abigail Jensen, AgrAbility Outreach Specialist
Department of Biological Systems Engineering
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
3:09 – Total Time
0:23 – What is AgrAbility?
1:13 – Looking at the program
1:46 – How widespread is AgrAbility
2:06 – What are the disabilities
2:42 – More information
2:54 – Lead out
Lauren Baker: How AgrAbility is helping Wisconsin Farmers, we’re visiting today with Abi Jensen, Outreach Specialist for AgrAbility of Wisconsin, in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension and I’m Extension intern, Lauren Baker. Abi, can you tell me a little more, what is AgrAbility?
Abi Jensen: AgrAbility is a program designed to help farmers who have limitations or disabilities, but they want to continue farming. We’re a USDA grant-funded program and it’s a UW-Extension and Easter Seals program. And the UW-Extension side works more with the administratively. So, we do a lot of the outreach and then we do a lot of the marketing, so we do newsletters every quarter, we have our social media, and we also keep track of our database and we enroll the clients who are coming into our program. And Easter Seals does more of the hands-on. So, they work with the farmers directly on what kind of recommendations that can be made, how the disabilities are affecting their work and making those farm assessments and helping them continue farming or helping them find another career that they’ll enjoy.
Lauren Baker: Can you describe the AgrAbility program?
Abi Jensen: So our program, starts off with the enrollment process. It’s an over the phone interview, usually takes about 10 minutes and we just talk through what’s going on, on the farm. What kind of impacts that their disability or limitation is having on their work and then I send them program information in the mail, so it’s like our past newsletters some information about other clients who have gone through our program. So those farmers can hear from other farmers how the program worked for them and what kind process they experienced.
Lauren Baker: Give us an idea on how widespread Agrability is?
Abi Jensen: AgrAbility of Wisconsin reaches the entire state. AgrAbility program there is also 20 states who have programs throughout the U.S. and we have a national project that is hosted in Indiana.
Lauren Baker: What are some of the common program recommendations or what are some of the common disabilities that AgrAbility works with?
Abi Jensen: So a lot of the common disabilities and limitations we work with are probably back and joint injuries, so a lot of farmers are getting up and down tractors. The step is an average of 21 inches off the ground, which is almost two feet, I mean I am only five feet so going almost half my height is pretty hard. So that really hurts the hips, the knees, and the back joints. So, a lot of times we work with farmers to help them get extra steps which will lower that distance. We also work with farmers to get a lot of simple things like augers to help move the feed along.
Lauren Baker: If people are interested where can they go for more information?
Abi Jensen: They can give me a call, my number is 608-262-9336 or they can find us online just Google AgrAbility of Wisconsin and we’re usually the first one that pops up.
Lauren Baker: We’ve been visiting with Abi Jensen, Outreach Specialist for AgrAbility of Wisconsin, in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension and I’m Extension intern, Lauren Baker.