Goodwill's AgrAbility Project helps injured, disabled farmers

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.

Goodwill at is turns out, isn't only about thrift stores or used furniture -- they also help farmers. 

“When you shop at a Goodwill Thrift Store the proceeds of those sales go to fund our workforce development program,” said Vanessa Clark, spokesman for Goodwill Industries of Denver.

That workforce includes Colorado farmers like Air Force veteran Don Taylor. Taylor loves his rural life, but said he lives in constant pain.

“I haven't been able to keep a steady job for years now,” he said.

But today, all that could change. The Colorado AgrAbility Project is a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Denver and Colorado State University.

The program, funded in-part by a federal grant, helps injured and disabled ranchers suffering from conditions like PTSD, depression, and MA find the tools they need to keep their farms afloat.

“Less than two percent of the population farms so those folks are feeding the other 98 percent. It's really important to keep those folks doing the work that they love, the work that they grew up doing, essentially providing for the rest of us,” she said. 

When they're done assessing Taylor’s farm, the AgrAbility team is hoping to get him more chickens, bee hives and easier ways to work the land.

“We're looking at mechanizing the watering system to be able to water my gardens,” he said. 

The AgrAbility Project has their winter workshops starting up on Thursday, October 29.

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