Farmers & Ranchers


Helping rural Coloradans stay employed

Colorado farmers and ranchers are able to continue working, despite a long term illness, permanent injury, aging, or a change in condition, thanks to the Colorado AgrAbility program, a unique partnership between Goodwill, Colorado State University Extension Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The collaboration promotes independence in agriculture by providing direct assistance, information and education to those dealing with functional limitations.

Working on a farm is dangerous work. In Colorado, there are anywhere between 7,000 to 10,000 farmers and ranchers with disabilities. One injury or illness could hinder a worker’s ability to run their business and survive in the agriculture industry. As a farmer ages, he or she may experience repetitive injuries, making it necessary to make adjustments and get help. With technological supports and education from AgrAbility, these individuals can remain working. 

Supportive Services:
  • Agricultural work sites and task assessments
  • Recommendations for farm equipment adaptation, home modifications, and adaptive equipment
  • Resource referrals
  • Educational workshops facilitated by CSU Extension for farmers, ranchers and family members with disabilities and the professionals who work with them

For more information or to discuss services or eligibility, contact Candy Leathers:

2018 Colorado AgrAbility Workshops

Join fellow Colorado farmers, ranchers, veterans, their families and service providers at the 2018 AgrAbility workshops held across the state. These free educational workshops are designed for individuals who are dealing with barriers created by illnesses, disabilities, aging, permanent injury or other limitations. Learn what AgrAbility is, how to work well with lenders and bankers in the Agriculture industry, and how to save time and money with Assistive Technology.


Friday, February 23, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm
Fort Morgan

Monday, February 12, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm

Thursday, February 8, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm

Friday, February 2, 2018
10:00 am2:00 pm

Register by contacting Candy Leathers or James Craig.

Candy Leathers

James Craig

See AgrAbility in action

Goodwill program connects wheelchair-bound farmer to drones and data allowing him to monitor crops and continue developing skills in AG technology.

Program run through a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Denver, CSU and Department of Agriculture offers advice for aging farmers.

Goodwill's agriculture program aims to keep rural America on its feet despite any physical limitations.

The third and final Colorado AgrAbility Outreach Meeting for rural Coloradans with neuromuscular illnesses is in Sterling on November 29th... Don't miss it!

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 as it turns out, isn't only about thrift stores or used furniture -- they also help farmers.

Meet Jerry Michel

55 year-old Jerry Michel is from Atwood, Colorado. He got help from the AgrAbility Project many years ago and just recently contacted us again to request more assistance. Jerry was injured in a car crash in the 80’s and is paralyzed from the waist down. A third-generation farmer, he's been able to continue running his farm post-injury with support from the AgrAbiility project, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and his family and friends. Jerry is now experiencing difficulties with his shoulders as the shoulders aren't designed to replace the work of your legs. The good news is, we were able to install a gullwing lift on his truck and have a standing all-terrain trackchair on order. These additional supportive devices will take the burden off Jerry's shoulders, and will ensure he is able to continue working in agricultural.