Multiple stakeholders and key partners have collaborated efforts over the past four years to develop the Oregon AgrAbility project into a sustainable service provider to the state’s agricultural community. Individuals from Oregon State University, Pacific University, Goodwill Industries International, Inc. (Goodwill), and more have patterned its design after that established by the National AgrAbility Project (NAP), which has been operated by Purdue University in a partnership with Goodwill since 1991. The NAP and and State/Regional Projects (SRAPs) receive funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and their overall goal is to find solutions for farmers and ranchers experiencing a decline in function and agricultural productivity due to an injury or illness.
In January 2012 Jill Valenti and Cindi Johnson, third-year students in the School of Occupational Therapy worked together on their innovative practice project (IPP) to build on the progress previous students made through their IPP over the last two years. This year’s project focused on completing an on-farm assessment including preparing written findings and recommendations, revising the USDA grant application (submitted as a part of last year’s related IPP) including its work plan and the timeline of proposed activities, and producing public education materials for future Oregon AgrAbility workshops.
The current structure of Oregon AgrAbility includes leadership offered by Project Coordinators. An alumna of Pacific University and practicing occupational therapist, Jill Peacock, OTR/L has been appointed as the Farm Assessor. She was a member of the 2011 Oregon AgrAbility Innovative Practice Project and also attended the National AgrAbility workshop in 2010. Jill and Cindi believe the work plan and its associated timeline as presented act as clear and concise “maps” to guide stakeholders’ future efforts and measure Oregon AgrAbility’s efficacy.
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