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The current issue provides an overview of the spectrum of health and safety matters affecting agriculture. We are pleased to present both original research and background papers. The papers by Schweitzer et al. and Hunter et al. highlight both national and state-specific novel AgrAbility initiatives. AgrAbility is a critical program designed to help keep US farmers functioning in the face of physical or mental disability. It is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Easter Seals, and administered by land grant University Extension Services. The paper by Schweitzer et al. identifies the resources available nationally and regionally for behavioral/mental health services. Mental health has long been identified as a critical issue in agriculture, but unfortunately mental health services have been inadequately provided to the farming community. This paper will be a valuable resource in identifying available state and regional resources. Hunter et al. discuss an AgrAbility initiative to provide services to underserved populations in Kentucky. It is my understanding that historically, AgrAbility services have been primarily provided to Caucasian farm owner-operators. I don’t believe that was intentional, but a result of not focusing upon seeking out other worthy recipients of AgrAbility services such as women and minority owner-operators, and farm laborers. I have referred patients that I have treated clinically to AgrAbility for very helpful further vocational services and aid in receiving assistive technology, and I must admit I have not had occasion to refer underserved individuals, other than by virtue of being farmers. I hope these two papers help increase awareness of AgrAbility in the agricultural health and safety professions and serve to increase utilization of these services throughout agricultural communities.
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