California AgrAbility staff met Lidia at a health fair event at a migrant center in Solano County. The county of Solano is known for preserving 80 percent of its land as open spaces and for agricultural use as farmlands. Lidia is a migrant worker from the state of Guadalajara, Mexico and has been migrating to the area for over 30 years. Every year, when she arrives for the agricultural season in early April, she starts working at a nursery pruning fruit trees, roses, and ornamental grasses. In July, she transitions to work at the local tomato processing plant putting lids on tomato sauce cans.
Lidia lives and works with chronic illness, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The combination of RA and the laborious pruning and sealing tasks made her hands feel stiff, painful, and debilitated. She worked through her shifts with pain. Trying to keep up with the rate of other workers was increasingly challenging. When she met AgrAbility, they introduced her to the Bahco ergonomic pruners. Using the Ability Tools Device Lending Library, Lidia requested to try the pruners. With the pruners, she feels relief and can work with less pain. Furthermore, Lidia showed the pruners to her supervisor to propose improving the tools for her fellow workers.