PORTLAND — Maine will host the four-day AgrAbility National Training Workshop next week to share information about helping people with disabilities who work in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. It is the first time Maine has hosted the event.

The conference, scheduled for March 19-22, will cover disability and farming. Topics include overcoming substance abuse, how to ranch with a spinal cord injury and assistive technology in dairy farming.

One workshop is called “I don’t have a disability. I’m just getting old.”

One of the 50 sessions offered will cover agri-tourism. As the industry grows, farms will need to consider requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which can be especially challenging in outdoor areas, such as corn mazes, hay rides or fruit picking.

The workshops will also cover the mental toll of the job. Speakers from all over the country will discuss how to identify these issues and get help.

The 2018 AgrAbility National Training Workshop will be at the Westin Harborview Hotel in Portland. It will offer trips to farms around Maine to show clients’ dairy or beef operations, maple syrup production, breweries that use local cherries and several veteran-owned businesses.

For information, registration, costs or program outlines, see www.agrability.org/ntw.


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