Republican U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro this week introduced a measure meant to provide support for farm families with members living with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.
The proposal, which has Democratic support, is aimed at expanding an existing U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides federal funding for technology that provides assistance to farm families with disaibilities.
"Farmers and farm families with disabilities face unnecessary barriers on the job and in their communities," Molinaro said. "The bipartisan Think DIFFERENTLY Agriculture Accessibility Act changes things by helping them access support services and assistive technology. This bill is going to break down barriers and empower rural Americans with disabilities to make a living.”
Molinaro's plan addresses the existing AgrAbility program created in 1991 by adding $3 million in funding. The measure, if approved, would also allow for funding to be used for educational programs and support for young people with disabilities who are considering careers in agriculture.
“This legislation will continue to ensure people with disabilities working in the agriculture industry have access to the accommodations and support they need to succeed over the next decade, while also expanding opportunities for young adults with disabilities preparing for agricultural employment," said Richard Belden, the CEO of SourceAmerica.