Published on 03/23/16

AgrAbility to hold expo in Tifton

By Kenzie Kesselring

A U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded organization that that strives to help farmers with disabilities, the AgrAbility Project in Georgia is set to host an expo in Tifton, Georgia, to introduce farmers to equipment designed to those anyone with disabilities.

The AgrAbility Expo will be held on Tuesday, April 5, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the north parking lot of the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center and is free to attend. There will be a number of different pieces of equipment on display that can help farmers with disabilities continue to farm safely, including tractor lifts, automatic and walk-through gates, and equipment to help farmers with arthritis better grip the steering wheel of tractors.

Present in 25 states, the National AgrAbility Project is federally funded and coordinated in Georgia by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Institute on Human Development and Disability in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Glen Rains, UGA professor and co-director of the Georgia AgrAbility Project, will preside over this inaugural AgrAbility Expo. “We are trying to be of service to famers who might have difficulties continuing to farm,” Rains said. “The expo is for farmers to see what type of equipment is out there for a wide variety of different health conditions.”

The average age of famers today is 58 to 59 years old, according to Rains. With age, it can become more difficult for farmers to continue farming.

“As that population ages, there are a lot of different health concerns that come with it,” he said.

Rains hopes this expo and AgrAbility in Georgia can help any and all farmers know the resources available to them. “Hopefully, farmers curious about things that would make it easier for them to farm will attend,” said Rains.

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