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July 9, 2002

FFA chapters recognized by Purdue outreach program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Indiana FFA chapters were recognized for their contributions to people with disabilities by Purdue University's Breaking New Ground Outreach Program.

Chapters in Columbia City, Campbellsburg, and Wolcott received awards in the Bridging Horizons FFA Contest. The contest, sponsored by Breaking New Ground and the Indiana State Office of Rural Health, challenges FFA chapters to come up with low-cost, labor-intensive modifications and improvements in their communities that enhance the independence and success of people with disabilities.

Awards were presented during the 73rd Indiana State FFA Convention at Purdue in June.

The Columbia City FFA Chapter placed first. Chapter members designed and constructed a handicapped-accessible bridge to nature trails. Chapter advisers are Tim McLochlin and Jim Wildermuth.

The West Washington FFA Chapter in Campbellsburg – the 2001 contest winner – was second. Chapter members modified the controls on a lawnmower for a man in a wheelchair and constructed wheelchair-accessible picnic tables for the staff of a local disability service agency. Cory Scott is the chapter adviser.

The Tri-County FFA Chapter in Wolcott took third. Chapter members made changes to the White County Fairgrounds show arena to allow better access for people using walkers and in wheelchairs. Chapter advisers are Travis Park and Grace Gochenour.

A fourth FFA chapter, the Brownstown, Ind., Central FFA Chapter, received honorable mention for repainting handicapped-accessible spaces in two parking lots at the school and planting flowers at a local nursing home. Blake Hackman is the chapter adviser.

Breaking New Ground is a program within Purdue's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. The program offers services and resources for persons with disabilities working in agriculture.

CONTACT: Stephen J. Swain, rural rehabilitation specialist, Breaking New Ground, (765) 494-5088, swainsj@purdue.edu

Compiled by Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415, sleer@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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