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USDA Grant Awarded to NMSU Cooperative Extension

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WRITER: emw
CONTACT: Eduardo Medina, 575-646-2925, emw

New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service, based in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Envrionmental Sciences, recently received the first funding installment of a United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant.

The four-year New Mexico AgrAbility Project provides services to the state’s farmers, ranchers and food growers affected by health challenges that make participation in work activities difficult. The NMSU CES proposal was selected after a competitive review process at the USDA.

The NMAP combines the statewide networking of Cooperative Extension with three work partners: New Mexico Technology Assistance Program, Mandy’s Farm (a nonprofit), and the University of New Mexico Occupational Therapy graduate program. Services of the project include on-site visits to identify barriers to completing tasks in the home or workplace; offer recommendations for assistive technology, tools or devices; and provide education and information on self-management of chronic diseases or disabilities in the context of the workplace.

Direct services are provided by NMTAP, the state’s federally funded assistive technology program, with assistance from the UNM Occupational Therapy graduate program. NMSU CES oversees the education, outreach and supervision of the program.

A unique aspect of the project is an adapted farming program at Mandy’s Farm in Albuquerque’s South Valley. The program is designed to encourage self-support and self-sufficiency for beginning food growers with disabilities. People with disabilities interested in farming vocations are welcome to apply and participate in the farming program.

For more information, contact Eduardo Medina, NMAgrAbility project coordinator, at 800-289-6577.

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