ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new program is helping people with disabilities get experience in farming and hoping to solve a nationwide shortage. AgrAbility is aimed at giving young adults with disabilities hands on experience farming.
The two-year program is new this year, kickstarted by the NMDVR and their partnership site, Mandy’s Farm in the south valley. “AgrAbility is a vocational training program for individuals with disabilities who are interested in becoming farmers or working in the agricultural sector,” said Sophie Trusty, Program Director.
Right now, they have eight apprentices who will work on the farm. Learning everything from planting corn and other produce to proper farm wear and how to maintain the nearly 3-acre lot. “They come here and they learn the vocational and workplace readiness skills and those technical aspects of learning about agriculture,” said Trusty.
Everything grown on the farm is going to be kept local. On top of creating opportunities and food here in the state, Trusty hopes by adding more hands in the workforce, farmers will get some much needed help. “The agricultural sector is an industry that a lot of folks are aging out and we’re noticing this big need and we want to be able to provide accessible pathways for folks to get into that career,” said Trusty.
Trusty says this next time nexy year they hope to welcome ten more students into the program.