FARM Program Staff
Our rural rehabilitation specialists – and most of the rest of our FARM staff – have farm backgrounds and understand the issues farmers face every day. This eases communication with farm clients and helps specialist and farmer work together to identify limitations affecting farm tasks and discuss accommodations for disabilities.
Paul Leverenz, Vice President, FARM & Vocational Services
Email Paul, 608-225-2394
Known for his deep commitment to farmers and their way of life, Paul joined Easter Seals in 1992 and heads up our nationally-honored FARM Program. As the Vice President for FARM & Vocational Services, he administers the FARM and Self-Employment Services (SES) programs for Easter Seals Wisconsin and oversees the Disability HelpLine of Outagamie County. He hires, trains and supervises the Technical and Program Assistants, Rural Rehabilitation and SES Specialists, and HelpLine Coordinator. He oversees outreach activities and on-site assessments and business plans for FARM and SES, and serves as liaison to the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and AgrAbility of Wisconsin. Paul, who grew up on a farm in the Green Bay area, offers training, presentations, and mentoring on vocational rehabilitation for farmers to FARM and Self-Employment Services staff, state agencies, and AgrAbility groups nationwide.
Jeff Kratochwill, Lead Rural Rehabilitation Specialist
Email Jeff, 608.279.9436
Jeff travels to farms in Wisconsin, meeting with farmers who have disabilities, and working with them to find ways to help them stay in farming and maintain their independence. He conducts on-site work assessments, determines work-site modifications and adaptive equipment needs, develops a plan to implement recommendations, and coordinates funding and support services. As the lead rural rehabilitation specialist, Jeff co-supervises and provides training for other rural rehabilitation specialists and reviews all FARM reports. He serves as liaison to Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) field supervisors and to Client Assistance Program (CAP) to resolve DVR service issues with clients. Jeff, who was raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm, joined the Easter Seals staff in 2008.
Ami Cooper, Rural Rehabilitation Specialist
Email Ami, 608.237.1527
Ami joined Easter Seals in 2012 as an AmeriCorps intern for the FARM Program and in 2015 was hired as a rural rehabilitation specialist. She works with farmers who have disabilities and their families by providing services that help them continue farming and maintain independence. She conducts on-site work assessments, determines work site modifications and adaptive equipment needs, develops a plan to implement recommendations, and coordinates funding and support services. Ami grew up on her family’s Registered Holstein dairy farm in Wisconsin, where she worked actively with the herd.
T Ellenbecker, Rural Rehabilitation Specialist
Email T, 715.842.3411
T brings to the FARM Program 26 years of counseling and case management skills, her knowledge of farming, and her awareness of how disabilities might affect farmers. She works with farmers with disabilities and their families by providing services that help them continue farming and maintain independence. She provides case management for clients, identifies immediate needs, and provides information and referral to funding and support services. T joined Easter Seals in 2000.
Paul Untiet, Rural Rehabilitation Specialist
Email Paul, 715.347.4093
During his 30 years at the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Paul was a knowledgeable advocate for farmers, and he continues in this role since joining the FARM staff. He works with farmers who have disabilities and their families by providing services that help them continue farming and maintain their independence. He provides case management for clients, identifies immediate needs, and provides information and referral to funding and support services. Paul, who grew up on a farm, started working for Easter Seals in 2008.
Melba Brown, FARM Office Coordinator & Technical Assistant
Email Melba, 608.237.1372
Melba’s background as the wife of a dairy farmer helps her understand the challenges of farm life and appreciate farmers’ commitment to their profession. As the FARM Office Coordinator & Technical Assistant, she coordinates referrals, prepares training curriculum and materials, develops and maintains the electronic resource library, assists in marketing and outreach, coordinates services with community organizations, and maintains client records and the client database. Melba has been with Easter Seals since 2005.
Monette Bebow-Reinhard, Administrative Program Assistant
Email Monette, 608.237.1446
Monette provides technical assistance to the FARM and Self-Employment Services programs, working closely with vendors, conducting research for assessments, editing, formatting and preparing DVR assessment reports for both programs, and preparing DVR billing. She also maintains the Ag Equipment Reutilization website. Monette, who’married into a farming family and understands farm needs and work processes, started working for Easter Seals in 2015.