MU AgrAbility Project Grant Renewal to Help Disabled Farmers

By MUNews

First posted on 08-24-2009

Submitted by: Robert E. Thomas, Information Specialist

University of Missouri Extension has received a four-year federal grant to continue the Missouri AgrAbility Project, which helps disabled farmers and their families remain in agriculture.

“The project provides on-farm assistance, technical information, referrals and training to disabled individuals who want to continue to farm,” said Willard Downs, project director.

“Given the right resources, farmers with disabilities can run productive and profitable farms,” he said.

Services are statewide and no fees are charged to those requesting assistance. Those eligible for services may have any type of disability: physical, cognitive or illness-related. Disabilities may include amputations, arthritis, vision impairments, spinal cord injuries or chronic disease, he said.

The program offers referrals to other providers, on-farm technical assessments on adapting farm equipment and help in modifying farm operations and buildings.

Farmers and ranchers also can receive agriculture-based education to help prevent further injury and develop peer support networks.

Missouri is one of 22 states with USDA-funded AgrAbility programs. Missouri ranks second among states in total number of farms.

Missouri AgrAbility has been in operation since 1994. For more information, see or contact the Missouri AgrAbility Project at 573-882-2731 or 1-800-995-8503.