The Kansas AgrAbility Project (KAP) and the Western Assistive Technology (AT) Access Site
co-hosted the Agriculture Demonstration Day on October 10 from 10:00 – 3:00 in Colby, KS.
Eleven vendors participated and fifty-five farmers, ranchers, and family members attended. Four Kansas Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors accompanied six farmers and ranchers they were serving so they had the chance to see possible equipment modifications in action.
Highlighted speakers included Kathy Smith, Life Essentials, who provided anecdotes and demonstrations of adapted equipment, and the Precision Agriculture team from Northwest Kansas Technical School who highlighted current and experimental uses of drone technology. A KAP customer who is operating drones from his accessible truck to check crops and cattle shared some of his own experiences. A 14-year old KAP client volunteered to demonstrate his Firefly, a device he attaches to his manual wheelchair to save his shoulders when traveling longer distances or over more challenging terrain.
Additional time was allowed to visit with the vendors and enjoy a hot lunch provided by the Western AT Site staff. Several vendors noted that they had the chance to learn how to highlight critical features of their equipment that could meet the needs of people with health issues or disabilities after visiting with KAP staff and customers. VR counselors noted the event gave them information to help them better advocate for higher cost modifications.
In the picture above left: KAP staff and customers talking about modifications at the KAP display; pictured below: Karin Rasmussen, AT Ag Specialist, talking about sprayers and UTVs with a KAP customer.
KS AgrAbility directly assists Kansas farmers, farm employees, and farm family members who have become injured or have an activity-limiting health condition/limitation to remain actively engaged in production agriculture for as long as they choose.
Kansas AgrAbility is a partnership between K-State University Research and Extension, Southeast Kansas Independent Living (SKIL) in Parsons, and Assistive Technology for Kansans, University of Kansas Life Span Institute at Parsons.
For more information, contact your regional AT Access Site toll-free at 800-526-3648 and ask to talk to an Ag or AT specialist. Regional offices are located in Oakley, Salina, Topeka, Wichita, and Parsons. The Kansas AgrAbility Project website is at http://agrability.bae,ksu.edu/
Additionally, equipment demonstrations and customer interviews are at the ATK website at http://atk.ku.edu/kansas-agrability
Story by Sheila Simmons, ATK program coordinator. The event was covered by Sara Miles, Kansas Farm and Ranch Radio Network and her video report is archived at the KFRR website. Follow this link http://www.kansasfarmandranchradio.com/ and scroll down to the KFRR website Facebook section for a great video overview of the KS AgrAbility Demo Day.