Colorado AgrAbility: Promoting Independence in Agriculture

Colorado AgrAbility

Promoting Independence in Agriculture

What is Colorado AgrAbility?

Why is it important to rural health?

We’re part of a national effort funded by the USDA to help farmers and ranchers affected by an injury, long-term illness, or other functional limitations. In Colorado, we are a partnership between Colorado State University Ag Extension and Goodwill Industries of Denver.

Within the state of Colorado there are approximately 36,180 farms and 59,479 agriculture operators. Each year 3,747 farmers/ranchers and 7,288 individuals living on rural farms will sustain an injury that limits their ability to continue production at their former level. At any given time, 11,105 people living on Colorado farms have a limitation that could benefit from AgrAbility.

Inspiring Success Story

Colorado farmer Rob Proctor continues to work the land after losing all four fingers and his thumb on his right hand.

This clip originally aired on Channel 7 News.  For more success stories, click here.

The vision of AgrAbility is to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with an injury, long-term illness, or other functional limitation. When one hears this definition, it is not uncommon for them to think of the most severe conditions such as amputations, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Spinal Cord Injuries. AgrAbility does address those conditions but also assists farmers and ranchers with arthritis, back impairments, and behavioral health issues.

Although the USDA grant does not provide a budget to purchase adaptive equipment, our four core mandates of education, networking, marketing and direct assistance helps to eliminate (or at least minimize) obstacles that inhibit success in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations for those who are actively engaged in agriculture or have a plan to become a farmer or rancher. We accomplish this by conducting an in-depth interview with the farmer and their family followed by an extensive on-site assessment of their mobility, accessibility, and work tolerance issues in the home and on the farm. Our knowledge of agricultural adaptive equipment and aids and appliances is then used to write recommendations and provide resources.

For further information, or to see how AgrAbility can help you or your clients, call program Co-Director Dr. Norman Dalsted at 970-222-5657, Program Manager Candiss Leathers at 720-539-4435, or Rural Rehabilitation Specialist James Craig at 720-737-3686. Our website URL is

Colorado AgrAbility Brochure


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *