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NIFA AgrAbility Grants Give Disabled Farmers Tools They Need to Be Successful

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2010 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded 23 grants today to help farmers with disabilities through the AgrAbility program, which helps thousands of disabled people overcome barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture.

“Each year, more than 80,000 farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers are injured at work badly enough to limit their ability to do their jobs,” said Roger Beachy, NIFA director. “Producers with disabilities should have every opportunity to be successful, and the AgrAbility program gives them the assistance and training they need to be profitable and maintain their quality of life.”

NIFA awarded 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, NIFA 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 $180,000 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, which is directed jointly by Purdue University and Goodwill Industries. 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

The Fiscal Year 2010 grant recipients are:

  • University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark.,  $179,928
  • University of California, Davis, Calif., $180,000
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $180,000
  • University of Delaware, Newark, Del., $180,000
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $180,000
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $180,000
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ken., $180,000
  • University of Maine, Orono, Maine, $180,000
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $180,000
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $176,903
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., $180,000
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb., $180,000
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $180,000
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., $180,000
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., $180,000
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn., $180,000
  • Texas AgriLife Extension, College Station, Texas, $179,179
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $180,000
  • University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt., $180,000
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va., $180,000
  • West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va., $180,000
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., $180,000
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., $168,137


Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).