AgrAbility: Helping returning troops manage disabilities

AgrAbility: Helping returning troops manage disabilities Some South Dakota troops returning from active duty to careers in agriculture can find help through the South Dakota AgrAbility Project.

"AgrAbility with the new focus this year has reached out to returning Guardsmen," said April Boesch, South Dakota State University Extension's AgrAbility project assistant.

"If they return and are suffering from a disability, whether it be a disability that they had while fighting overseas, or a disability that has come about because of their leave, we can provide assistive technology and information to these individuals and make modifications to their farm or related agriculture occupation, so they can continue."

AgrAbility can help not only with physical injuries, but also with cognitive and sensory disabilities, Boesch said. Contact Boesch for more information by calling her at (605) 688-5672, or by e-mailing agrability@sdstate.edu.

The AgrAbility Project is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help individuals who face life-changing disabilities stay in their chosen careers in production agriculture or agriculture-related fields. The South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service partners with Easter Seals South Dakota and Avera Health to carry out the project in South Dakota.

Boesch has spoken about what AgrAbility can do for troops facing disabilities to the Family Readiness Club and the Huron Optimists Club. She's available to discuss the AgrAbility Project with other groups in areas that have seen major troop deployments.

The Veterans Administration also has information about the AgrAbility Project.

Learn more about the AgrAbility Project in South Dakota at its Web site, http://agrability.sdstate.

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