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AgrAbility workshop to be held in Pagosa Springs

George Golen won’t dispute that he cooks a mean beef stroganoff, but, despite severe rheumatoid arthritis, he also still likes to get out in his tractor and help out on his family’s 5,000-acre ranch.

The arthritis, which he was diagnosed with in 1996, makes it difficult for him to bend his knees or twist his neck. Despite this, a new seat recently installed in his tractor through help provided by the AgrAbility Project, will allow Golen to still bale hay. The specially-designed seat, purchased through a grant provided by Sodexo and Easter Seals, includes suspension and a swivel. Plans call for AgrAbility to also install a step and rail on the tractor to ensure Golen’s disability doesn’t keep him out of the field on his family’s ranch located on the Colorado/Wyoming border near Glendevey, Colo.

“The ranch has been in my wife’s family — the Hohnholz family —since 1917,” Golen, 58, noted. “I enjoy cooking, but it’s nice also to get out on the tractor. We’re working to build up our herd of Black Angus cows after the drought knocked us for a loop a few years back. We had two hundred head then, but just have fifty now.”

AgrAbility is a unique government-funded program run by Colorado State University Extension and Easter Seals Colorado. The program assists farmers and ranchers with disabilities so they can stay on their farms and ranches. The project is holding a series of workshops across the state this winter.

An AgrAbility workshop will be conducted in Pagosa Springs at the Extension office at the fairgrounds on Nov. 5. If you are interested in attending, or would like more information, contact the office at 264-5931.

AgrAbility will provide free workshops in 11 communities throughout Colorado this winter. “Living with Visual Impairments and Other Physical Challenges on the Ranch/Farm” is this year’s workshop topic. Ten of the workshops will be from 9 a.m. to noon with a free lunch from noon to 1 p.m. for those who pre-register at least one week prior to the workshop that they plan to attend. All 10 workshops are for farm/ranch families with disabilities and other challenges and for professionals who work with them. A Durango workshop will be for professionals only, from noon to 1 p.m. To pre-register a week prior to the Durango workshop, either call Dr. Bob Fetsch, (970) 491-5648, or e-mail him at

Colorado State University Extension and Easter Seals Colorado work together on the Colorado AgrAbility Project to provide on-site evaluations, resource information, disability workshops, equipment modification and assistive technology. The USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service provides funding for the Colorado AgrAbility Project.

Beef Cattle Update

What is the market outlook for calves this fall? What will be the situation with agricultural credit in the near future? What is a financial health checkup? What beef cattle cost factors should be considered? Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, Oct. 28, to participate in the 2009 Beef Cattle Update. The meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Grand Vista Hotel (Horizon Room) 2790 Crossroads Blvd., Grand Junction.

Erica Rosa, Livestock Marketing Information Center, Sarah Spivey, CoBank, Robbie Baird-LeValley, Colorado State University Extension, and Rod Sharp, Colorado State University Extension, will be the speakers at this year’s update. Erica is respected nationwide for her knowledge and insight of the beef cattle markets. Sarah is well known for her expertise of financial credit markets. Robbie and Rod have worked together on several projects over the years to support the cattle industry in Western Colorado.

A registration fee is required to cover lunch and handout materials. Please pre-register by today, Oct. 15, to guarantee a lunch. Registration prior to Oct. 15 is $25 per person; After Oct. 15, it is $40 per person. If you’d like more information about this meeting or to pre-register, call Kellie Clark at (970) 241-3346 or e-mail Kellie at


Oct. 15 — 5:30 p.m., 4-H Project Leader meeting.

Oct. 16 — 2 p.m., Wolf Creek Wonders Club meeting.

Check out our Web page at for calendar events and information.