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Success Stories


Follow these links to watch success stories from some of Colorado’s farm and ranch families affected by disability who have worked with Colorado AgrAbility.

Goodwill’s AgrAbility Project helps injured, disabled farmers – By: Kristen Skovira, Denver 7 ORCHARD, Colo. – Farming in Colorado is big business with more than $15-billion worth of food grown and marketed here every year, but getting hurt or dealing with a disability can put a farmer’s livelihood on the line.

Generation farmer continues his life’s work despite paralyzation – 55 year-old Jerry Michel is from Atwood, Colorado. He got help from the AgrAbility Project many years ago and just recently contacted us again to request more assistance. Jerry was injured in a car crash in the 80’s and is paralyzed from the waist down. A third-generation farmer, he’s been able to continue running his farm post-injury with support from the AgrAbiility project, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and his family and friends. Jerry is now experiencing difficulties with his shoulders as the shoulders aren’t designed to replace the work of your legs. The good news is, we were able to install a gullwing lift on his truck and have a standing all-terrain trackchair on order. These additional supportive devices will take the burden off Jerry’s shoulders, and will ensure he is able to continue working in agricultural.

“Adapting With Scoliosis” Jackie Weimer is determined to continue raising thoroughbreds regardless of challenges life presents with three back surgeries, difficulty breathing, and scoliosis.

“Help he never expected” Colorado farmer Rob Proctor continues to work the land after losing all four fingers and his thumb on his right hand. This clip aired on Channel 7 News.

“A way of life” Multiple sclerosis kept farmer Bert Nesselhuf out of his fields in Manzanola Colorado. See how AgrAbility helped him. Channel 9 News article.

AgrAbility Partners With Agribotix – Press Contact: Jason Barton (

Newspaper Stories

Follow these links to read about success stories from some of Colorado’s farm and ranch families affected by disability who have worked with Colorado AgrAbility.

Mancos AgrAbility workshop helps farmers get a grip

AgrAbility Program Helps Ag Workers with Disabilities

A Way of Life! – AgrAbility Program Helps Ag Workers with Disabilities

Winter Workshops 2016-2017

Rancher Never Gives Up

In Spite of Nerve Damage, Farmer Keeps on Farming

Working from a wheelchair: Colorado State University program helps Colorado man farm despite being paralyzed from the waist down Jerry Michel has able to regain his independence at the farm with the help of AgrAbility, a program that helps farmers work with their disabilities. Samantha Fox, Greeley Tribune.

Colorado ‘AgrAbility’ program helps people with disabilities work in agriculture Marjorie Haun, Free Range Report

“Blind Faith: AgrAbility Aids Disabled Ranchers” tells the story of Colorado rancher Gail Claussen and his macular degeneration. This article was published by the National Cattleman.

“Groups team up to assist ArkValley farmer with mobility” is an article about Bert Nesselhuf and his success adapting to life on the farm with multiple sclerosis. This article was published in the Lamar Daily News.

“Ailing farmers, ranchers land help” gives Chad Campbell’s views on ways to manage his family’s ranch and multiple sclerosis. This article was included in the Denver Post.

“Colorado rancher finds help in AgrAbility workshop” shows how Bill Way used the Colorado AgrAbility Project to keep on ranching.

“Knee and back pain does not stop this Colorado farmer” Alden Brownlee worked with AgrAbility to find adaptive equipment to assist him on the farm.

“AgrAbility assists farm/ranch families with disabilities” Is a story about Don Lumbardy and his search for help with his mother who was disabled by a stroke.

“AgrAbility helps farmer with back injury” tells how Ed Morris found a better way to farm his land.

“AgrAbility helps farm wife with paraplegia” is an article about Rashell Fritzler and how she found independence.

“Colorado AgrAbility – Promoting Independence” after a fall that landed Gary Frihauf in the hospital, the Colorado AgrAbility Project made equipment adaptations to make Gary’s job easier.

“Ranching has been a lifelong commitment” for Gary Sandoval and back pain was threatening his way of life. The Colorado AgrAbility Project helped to ease that pain.

“A Labor of love” Jerry Anderson loves growing things so AgrAbility helped him complete a business plan and made recomendations for ergonomical tools and workspaces.

“AgrAbility – A Program That Works” Paper written by Robert J. Fetsch, Christine M. Helfrich, William E. Field, and Eric O. Olson

As family farms fall, program lifts older, disabled farmers, ranchers” The Denver Post Denver and the West Joey Bunch

Colorado AgrAbility seminar in Trinidad” Glen Mears – Mountain Creek Home Health Community Liaison

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