Extension and Outreach

Extension services and programs that meet real-world needs.

The extension programs in Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education cover topics including on farm and food business profitability, farm safety, youth and family development, consumer choices about food and health, and water and energy policy.

AgrAbility

Find invaluable information on farm safety and the AgrAbility project, designed to assist agricultural workers and farmers with disabilities or long-term health conditions. Discover Penn State Extension expert tips on assistive technology and read inspiring stories of farmers who have overcome obstacles to continue farming. Farming With Health Conditions and Disabilities AgrAbility for Pennsylvaniansis a project specially designed for agricultural workers and farmers with disabilities or long-term health conditions. Funded through theUS Department of Agriculture, the project strives to provide the support and invaluable resources needed to live independently and remain or return to production agriculture. The services provided by AgrAbility are free of charge. These include on-site farm assessment to identify barriers to completing tasks and chores, identifying safe assistive equipment and devices, peer support, and access to educational training opportunities. Pennsylvanians with a physical, cognitive, intellectual, or sensory impairment that limits important life activities may be eligible forAgrAbility services. Some of the more prevalent disabilities and health conditions that affect PA farmers include, among others, spinal cord injury, arthritis, stroke, heart conditions, diabetes, and visual or hearing loss. On this page, farmers with disabilities – as well as their family members – can obtain more information about the project and find answers tocommon questions regarding AgrAbility. Assistive Farm Technology While AgrAbility does not provide direct funding for equipment, the program works closely with third-party funding sources to help farmers obtain the necessary assistive technology. Assistive technology (AT)refers to any piece of equipment or product system that is used to maintain, increase, or improve functional capabilities with disabilities. AT can be acquired commercially or specially modified or customized. Generally speaking, the modifications needed for agriculture worksites can vary greatly depending on the disability and farm operation. Various mobility aids, for instance, can be extremely helpful in reducing the strain on hips and knees when walking on uneven terrains. These utility vehicles may be used to bring in cows for milking, check fences, or monitor plant growth. For those suffering from joint injury or arthritis, automatic hitching systems can be crucial for enabling them to hitch/unhitch wagons without getting off the tractor. Adding assistive technology to equipment can also help workers and farmers with disabilities effectively monitor their surroundings. Installing acab cameraallows the operator to see what is around the equipment without turning their head or body. This, in turn, can improve ergonomics, enhance productivity, and increase safety. Access Penn State Extension resources for additional information on assistive technology and AgrAbility PA.

Better Kid Care

Better Kid Care provides professional development to early-care and youth development professionals to improve the quality of their care and educational practices.

Business and Operations

Penn State Extension delivers Business and Operations education and programs in six primary areas: Getting Started, Business Management, Human Resources, Land and Equipment, Farm Markets, and Farm Safety.

Children and Families

Find parenting advice on raising healthier kids. Explore the ins and outs of child care, childhood education, drug and alcohol prevention, and more.

Energy

Penn State Extension delivers Energy education and programs in two primary areas: Marcellus Shale and Natural Gas and Renewable and Alternative Energy.

Intergenerational and Aging

Discover a collection of activities for educators, human and community service professionals, and families interested in facilitating intergenerational understanding and cooperation.

PA WAgN

The Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN) supports women in agriculture by providing positive learning environments, networking, and empowerment opportunities.

Penn State Agritourism

The Penn State Agritourism Program provides resources for agritourism operators and organizations that support agritourism in their county.

Rural-Urban Leadership Program

The Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership (RULE) Program encourages and fosters the development of adult community leaders from all segments of Pennsylvania.