Outdated or Unsupported Browser Detected
DWD's website uses the latest technology. This makes our site faster and easier to use across all devices. Unfortunatley, your browser is out of date and is not supported. An update is not required, but it is strongly recommended to improve your browsing experience. To update Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge visit their website.

DWD logo

Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2022
CONTACT: DWD Communications
CommunicationsOffice@dwd.wisconsin.gov

DWD and DATCP Secretaries Tour Farms Assisted By DVR Program

DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek, left, and DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski, right, meet with farmer Darrel Jones to learn more about his use of assistive technology. Darrel and his wife Kathy own and operate an approximately 60 cow dairy farm in Auburndale, Wisconsin.
DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek, left, and DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski, right, meet with farmer Darrel Jones to learn more about his use of assistive technology. Darrel and his wife Kathy own and operate an approximately 60 cow dairy farm in Auburndale, Wisconsin.

AUBURNDALE, Wis. – Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Randy Romanski and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek recently hit the road to highlight the DWD Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

At the Darrel Jones Farm, the secretaries heard from Darrel, who owns and operates an approximately 60 cow dairy farm with his wife Kathy. After an ATV accident, Darrel sought accommodations that allow him to complete his work.

"The DVR program plays an important role in the agriculture industry," said Romanski. "Farmers like Darrel exemplify why it is important that we offer reasonable accommodations. Through the services and partnership of AgrAbility, DWD, DATCP, and other partners, Wisconsin farmers can continue doing what they love."

AgrAbility of Wisconsin Rural Rehabilitation Specialist Jeff Kratochwill joined the visit at the Darrel Jones Farm.

"There are many farmers in Wisconsin who have been negatively impacted by a disability and services are needed by AgrAbility and the Easterseals Wisconsin FARM program to assist those farmers," said Kratochwill. "Today was a great day to showcase a farm that has been involved with AgrAbility and Easterseals and then received support from the DVR program in Wisconsin. It was great for Secretary Romanski and Secretary-designee Pechacek to visit the farm together and witness the benefits of working in partnership to serve farmers with disabilities."

The secretaries also visited the farm of Barry Richardson, who milks 80 cows and grows corn and other crops. Barry required a knee replacement and continues to experience some work limitations following the surgery.

"Farmers are used to being self-sufficient and we know it's hard for many to ask for help when injury or illness affects their work," DWD's Pechacek said. "DWD's vocational rehabilitation staff are friendly, helpful, and eager to work with farmers to understand their unique situations. Our full spectrum of services includes onsite farm assessments, vocational guidance and counseling, self-employment planning, and assistive technology services including assessments, customization, repair, and training."

Individuals with a disability that makes it difficult to get or keep a job can apply for DWD's DVR services using the online referral form or contact the DVR administrative office at 608-261-0050 or toll-free at 800-442-3477.

Additional services for Wisconsin farmers are available through DATCP's Wisconsin Farm Center. With decades of agriculture experience, the Wisconsin Farm Center staff are able to answer questions and connect farmers to resources through the Farm Center's toll-free number and email address. To learn more, visit the DATCP Farm Center page.

Learn more about Agrability.

###

To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Find more DATCP news in our newsroom, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


ABOUT DWD

Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.