Dr. James Craig

Dr. James Craig M.A., Ed.D., J.D. Joined the Colorado AgrAbility Project as a Rural Rehabilitation Specialist and veterans Outreach in December 2014. Mr. Craig, himself a Service Disabled Veteran, regularly works with disabled veterans who are farmers or ranchers as well as those who have little to no experience in agriculture however self-identify as a new or beginning farmer/rancher. Through the USDA/NIFA AgrAbility Project he has assisted numerous disabled veterans to remain productive on their farm or ranch, and has assisted others who sought a self-employment career in agriculture. Mr. Craig earned a master’s degree in counseling and an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining AgrAbility, he served as Administrative Director for a community mental health agency and managed a case load as well. He specialized in working with the Developmentally Delayed mental health population. Growing up on a cow/calf and wheat operation in northern Montana he appreciates the dedication and sacrifices of our rural farm families.

Candiss Leathers

Ms. Leather’s was raised in the rural plains of Eastern Colorado in an agricultural community and has worked in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation and Disability services for over 40 years. She received her Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Science in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Specialty Certification in Blind Rehabilitation from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado.

She has served as Project Manager for the Colorado AgrAbility Project with Goodwill Colorado since August 2013 to Present. Serving farmers and ranchers affected by an injury, long term illness, or other functional limitations to remain involved in agricultural work by providing direct services, information, and education. As Project manager she is responsible for the oversight of the management of the day-to-day operations of the AgrAbility Project. Develops and delivers educational workshops on topics relevant to farmers/ranchers, their families, outside professionals and other interested parties. Markets the program to healthcare providers, agricultural producer organizations and individuals to provide education and increase program enrollment

Robert “Bob” Fetsch

Robert “Bob” Fetsch is a State Extension Specialist and Professor Emeritus in Colorado State University’s Department of Human Development & Family Studies. He is Co-Project Director of the Colorado AgrAbility Project with Rebecca Hill. For 15 years now he has led the National AgrAbility Project’s Quality of Life (QOL) study with Colorado and 13 other states. Results have shown that:

  • 82% (n = 136/165) of AgrAbility participants reported improved QOL levels.
  • 83% (n = 140/168) of AgrAbility participants reported improved independent living and working levels.
  • On average our AgrAbility group of 240 participants’ QOL levels increased 26%.
  • On average their psychological well-being improved 28%.
  • AgrAbility participants reported renewed hope, feeling worthwhile again, and regaining control over their lives.

G. James Sanchez

G. James Sanchez has been employed with Goodwill Industries of Denver for over 17 years. Mr. Sanchez has had many roles and worked on many programs during his time at Goodwill. He started as a Program Manager with the Advancement Plus program in Adams County and then became the Manager for all of the Adams County Goodwill Workforce Programs. He then started the Goodwill Career Employment program for Arapahoe County. Mr. Sanchez is now the Director of Career Development Services and oversees programs serving youth and adults. Prior to working with Goodwill, Mr. Sanchez had over 20 years’ experience working with for-profit and non-profit human services agencies in the Denver Metro area. Mr. Sanchez has worked with at-risk youth, incarcerated youth under Senate Bill 94, closed-head injured adults, HIV/AIDS adults and Section 8/low-income housing recipients. Mr. Sanchez has a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University.

Rebecca Hill

Rebecca Hill is an Agricultural Economist with a joint appointment with the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI) and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and is a part of the Colorado AgrAbility Project Leadership Team. She currently teaches Water Law Policies and Institutions as well as Agricultural Marketing at CSU and her research interests revolve around issues connected to Community and Economic Development.

Chad Reznicek

Chad Reznicek is the Behavioral Health Specialist with the Colorado AgrAbility Project and committed to helping expand and improve behavioral health support and resources in rural communities.  Prior to joining the AgrAbility Team, Chad spent 20 years as a licensed therapist, providing behavioral health services in diverse settings with special focus areas in suicide prevention, trauma, mood disorders, and substance abuse.  Both of Chad’s parents were raised on farms and he grew up in a small farming community in central Nebraska with a deep respect for agriculture as the heart of our rural communities.

Norman L. Dalsted

Professional Experience

Currently a professor and Extension Farm/Ranch Management Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University.  Prior to joining the department in 1981, worked as a research associate and instructor for six years, in the Department of Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University.  Served as a platoon leader in the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970.

Research and Outreach

Involved in extension education for nearly 35 years in Colorado.  Major research and educational programs have included:

  • Agricultural outlook
  • Financial management
  • Livestock and crop production economics
  • Estate planning
  • Alternative cropping systems
  • Crop Insurance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Enterprise budgeting
  • Whole farm/ranch planning

Research efforts have been focused in the areas of crop and livestock costs and returns, financial management and strategic business planning.  Earlier in my career I developed models related to coal energy and water consumption in the northern high plains associated with coal gasification. Currently my research programs address the costs and returns of crops grown in Colorado.

I worked with over 1,500 individual farmers and ranchers and their families in some instances, on a one-on-one basis over the past 35 years.  In many situations, I worked with individual families involved in acquiring operating funds, financial workouts, restricting debt, and/or assisting them with reorganization plans under either chapter 11 or chapter 12 bankruptcies.  I also worked with another 200 or more families in addressing estate planning for their family operation.  This typically involved two or more generations in the family.  I served as a mediation officer to resolve disagreements between tenants and landlords, between lenders and borrowers, and between government agencies and farmers or ranchers.