Free workshops to support health outcomes in Colorado's ag communities

a tractor at sunset
For decades, Colorado AgrAbility has focused on helping farmers and ranchers with physical challenges live healthy and productive lives, more recently expanding their efforts to help people improve their resiliency and stress management.

This winter, Colorado AgrAbility is offering a series of free, informational workshops across the state to help support agricultural communities and connect people with valuable resources related to farm and ranch safety, resiliency and stress management, and more.

Those who will find the workshops most valuable are:
• Farm and ranch operators and their families
• Farm employees and farm support services workers
• Professionals who serve and work with agricultural communities

Workshop Dates

Grand Junction: Wed. Jan. 11
Montrose: Thurs. Jan. 12
Colorado Springs: Fri. Feb. 10
Sterling: Fri. Feb. 17
Pierce: Thurs. Feb. 23
Limon: Wed. Mar. 1

Register

About Colorado AgrAbility

Providing assistance to Colorado farmers and ranchers engaged in production agriculture – as well as their families – to help them continue to work despite: long-term illness, permanent injuries, aging issues and other physical, cognitive, or behavioral challenges.

Workshop Topics

AgrAbility’s James Craig and Candy Leathers

James Craig and Candy Leathers will introduce you to our new staff as you learn more about Colorado AgrAbility, which is a partnership between Colorado State University Extension and Goodwill Industries of Colorado.

James Craig joined the Colorado AgrAbility Project as a Rural Rehabilitation Specialist and veterans Outreach in December 2014. Mr. Craig, himself a Service Disabled Veteran, regularly works with disabled veterans who are farmers or ranchers as well as those who have little to no experience in agriculture however self-identify as a new or beginning farmer or rancher.

Candy Leathers was raised in the rural plains of Eastern Colorado in an agricultural community and has worked in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation and Disability services for over 40 years. She received her Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science in vocational rehabilitation counseling, and a specialty certification in blind rehabilitation from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She has served as a project manager with Colorado AgrAbility Project since August 2013.

Ergonomics is the science of designing the job, equipment and workspace to fit the worker, while maintaining the efficiency of people in the workplace. AgrAbility’s Candy Leathers and James Craig will explore work-related musculoskeletal disorders and explain how ergonomics can help keep workers safe, comfortable, and productive.

Whitney Pennington, outreach manager with HICAHS

Whitney Pennington, outreach manager for CSU’s High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, will present a mealtime keynote providing an overview of personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE.”

Learn about the different kinds of PPE, when it’s necessary to use, and how to wear PPE to prevent exposure to farm and ranch health hazards. All workshop attendees will receive a free PPE kit (respirators, ear plugs, and more) and be entered in a raffle to win safety and adaptive equipment.

Rebecca Hill will discuss the Colorado River Compact, current responses in face of drought and increasing water demands and the implications this could have on agriculture in the future.

Hill is an Agricultural Economist with a joint appointment with the Regional Economic Development Institute and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and is a part of the Colorado AgrAbility Project Leadership Team. She currently teaches Water Law Policies and Institutions as well as Agricultural Marketing at CSU and her research interests revolve around issues connected to community and economic development.

Chad Reznicek

Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks. Agriculture can be a stressful way of life and while we can’t control the weather, market prices, or fuel costs there are many steps we can take to manage our stress levels and strengthen our relationships.

Join Chad Reznicek to learn about resiliency practices, stress management, and how to look out for those we care about.

Reznicek is the Behavioral Health Specialist with the Colorado AgrAbility Project and committed to helping expand and improve behavioral health support and resources in rural communities.

Prior to joining the AgrAbility Team, Chad spent 20 years as a licensed therapist, providing behavioral health services in diverse settings with special focus areas in suicide prevention, trauma, mood disorders, and substance abuse.

Both of Chad’s parents were raised on farms and he grew up in a small farming community in central Nebraska with a deep respect for agriculture as the heart of our rural communities.

To learn more and register visit: agrability.colostate.edu/events