Ohio AgrAbility to host statewide aging farmers workshops

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Aging farmers who want insight on how to remain productive in agriculture, continue gardening and stay active outdoors can hear tips and techniques from the Ohio AgrAbility Program at Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences during a workshop designed to address the evolving needs of older farmers.

The workshop, "I'm Not as Young as I Used To Be," seeks to show how to remain safe and productive as an older farmer, said Kent McGuire, Ohio AgrAbility program coordinator for Ohio State University Extension.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

"The idea is to offer information that can benefit a growing, aging population," he said. "The average age of farmers in Ohio is 57, so we're truly starting to work with an aging workforce, who want to remain active and productive on their farms.

"The workshop is also beneficial to those who do a lot of gardening because the same concepts and principles apply," said McGuire. "Many of our seniors want to continue to garden, but do not know if they can physically continue to do so. With the workshop, they will get ideas that will allow them to continue gardening."

Ohio AgrAbility is part of a national U.S. Department of Agriculture program that promotes independence for people in agriculture who want to continue farming after experiencing a disabling condition. OSU Extension has partnered with Easter Seals TriState to combine resources, knowledge and outreach to bridge the gap between individuals in agricultural and the resources and services available to help farmers with a disability remain productive on the farm.

For more information on Ohio AgrAbility visit http://www.agrability.osu.edu.

The workshop will feature discussions on mobility, managing arthritic limitations, planning a productive day, applying Universal Design concepts to the whole property, and showcasing adaptive tools and equipment, McGuire said. 

Topics to be discussed during the workshop:

  • Safety tips and techniques for older farmers.
  • The availability of assisted technology that can be used on farms and for gardening.
  • Tricks of the trade for aging limitations.

The workshops are free and open to the public and will be held in several sites over multiple dates statewide.

Some of the confirmed dates, times and locations:

  • Dec. 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post 446, 14900 CR25A North in Anna.
  • Jan. 16, 6-8 p.m. at the OSU Extension South Central Regional Office, 16714 Wolf Run Road in Caldwell.
  • Jan. 24, 1-3 p.m. at the Hancock County Senior Center, 339 E. Melrose Ave. in Findlay.
  • March 11 in Ashtabula County, location and time to be determined.

Other dates, times and locations will be announced at a later date, McGuire said. For more information, contact McGuire at 614-292-0588 or email at mcguire.225@osu.edu.



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