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USDA Awards $3.7 Million to Assist Farmers with Disabilities

News Release

Contact:
Scott Elliott, CSREES Staff, (202) 720-7185

Printable Version

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2006 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced today that USDA is awarding $3.7 million in grants to 21 states to assist farmers with disabilities through the AgrAbility program. AgrAbility helps thousands of disabled individuals overcome barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture.

“AgrAbility increases the opportunity for farmers with disabilities and their families to become involved in agriculture,” Conner said. “The goal of the program is to enhance their quality of life and provide them with the tools they need to be successful.”

USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) administers the funds to land-grant universities that have joined with nonprofit disability organizations to address the specialized needs of AgrAbility's customers. Projects include educating professionals on how to assist those with disabilities and directly training disabled agricultural workers. The program has improved customers' financial stability, access to life activities and the ability of states and regions to deliver timely services to those with disabilities.

Since initial funding in 1991, CSREES has awarded grants to more than 30 states resulting in on-farm assistance to more than 12,000 farmers while educating thousands of professionals on how to accommodate those with disabilities in agriculture. The typical award provides up to $200,000 per year for up to four years to qualifying universities.

In addition to the state project grants, one national grant provides additional support for a National AgrAbility Project involving the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Easter Seals, Inc. These national partners joined to provide technical assistance and professional training for the state projects, produce resource materials, and distribute information related to the project. For more information, visit www.agrabilityproject.org.

The FY 2006 grant recipients are:

  • University of California
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Idaho
  • Kansas State University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nebraska
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Tennessee
  • Texas A&M University
  • Utah State University
  • University of Vermont
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • West Virginia University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Wyoming.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.

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Note to Reporters: USDA news releases and program announcements are available on the Internet. Go to the CSREES newsroom at http://www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/newsroom.html. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive CSREES press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to news@lyris.csrees.usda.gov and leave the subject blank. In the message, type ‘subscribe news’