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Tech tools transform Illinois farming

Tech tools transform Illinois farming

By Andi Anderson

Illinois AgrAbility, affiliated with the University of Illinois Extension, is dedicated to aiding farmers, including veterans and those with disabilities, through innovative assistive technologies. These efforts aim to sustain their agricultural activities despite age or injury-related challenges.

Haley Jones, the program coordinator for Illinois AgrAbility, emphasizes the importance of farm site visits. These visits allow the team to understand firsthand the obstacles that farmers face, and to provide practical solutions and modifications. This proactive approach has proven crucial in adapting farming environments to the needs of everyone.

In partnership with the Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP), Illinois AgrAbility integrates agricultural tools into IATP’s Device Loan Library, making them readily available for trial. This includes devices such as cooling vests, auxiliary handles, backup cameras, and battery-powered heated gloves, which are particularly beneficial for outdoor agricultural work.

Nikki Schultz, IATP’s device loan coordinator, highlights the popularity of the device loan program, which allows clients to test devices in their own environments. This ensures that the chosen technology fits their specific needs before making a purchase. The program is also invaluable for providing temporary replacements during repair periods.

The collaboration between Illinois AgrAbility and IATP ensures that both agricultural workers and non-agricultural clients have access to over 1,000 assistive technology tools. These tools not only facilitate farming tasks but also support daily activities around the home.

For those interested in learning more about the available technologies or to participate in the program, can visit to IATP’s Springfield location. This initiative reflects Illinois AgrAbility’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life and work for farmers across Illinois, enabling them to continue their passion for agriculture effectively.

In partnership with Illinois Extension, Illinois Assistive Technology Program, and Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Illinois AgrAbility is set to continue its mission of serving and empowering the state's agricultural community.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-shotbydave.jpg

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Categories: Illinois, Sustainable Agriculture

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