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Purdue Receives Over $2.8 Million In USDA/NIFA Funding for National AgrAbility, Indiana AgrAbility Projects

Agricultural and Biological Engineering’s AgrAbility Program has received $2,124,000 in funding for their National AgrAbility Project as well as $720,000 for the Indiana AgrAbility Project from the United States Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Paul Jones, project manager of the National AgrAbility Project and education and resource specialist of the Indiana AgrAbility Project, said the funding will support the projects’ work through 2025.   

“Our team in ABE was thankful to receive both the Indiana AgrAbility grant and the National AgrAbility grant, as we have been the recipient of the national grant since 2008,” Jones said. “This is our first year receiving funding for Indiana AgrAbility since 2019, which was our last year funded year for that project.”   

Purdue’s Breaking New Ground Resource Center will again be the lead agency for the grants.   

“The fact that the USDA/NIFA awarded both the National and the Indiana AgrAbility Project grants to Purdue in the same year is a strong indication that the staff behind these proposals is on the right track when it comes to the vision and work plan for AgrAbility that they have projected,” Indiana AgrAbility project manager Chuck Baldwin said.   

The AgrAbility Program works as an outreach to farmers and ranchers who live with a disability or physical limitation, Jones said. The Indiana AgrAbility grant will work to deliver direct services to farmers, ranchers or other agricultural workers around the state in the form of direct on-farm assessments or working alongside other agencies to get specific technology into the hands of farmers who need it.   

The National AgrAbility Project will work to support other state projects around the country as well as offering some limited services to farmers in states without an AgrAbility project, Jones said.   

Stress related impairments have become a more significant focus for AgrAbility.   

“Mental health is becoming an increasingly critical area,” Jones said. “We used to focus primarily on physical issues, disabilities, spinal cord injuries, amputations, arthritis and so on, but now there seems to be a greater focus on stress related impairments.”  

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