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May 2009


Willard Downs attended the Southeast Region Extension County Council meeting to present Russell Ramsey with a plaque of appreciate for his efforts and contribution to the Missouri AgrAbility Project. Russell Ramsey officially retired from the University of Missouri Extension but, will continue working with the Missouri AgrAbility Project by providing outreach and assistance efforts in the Southeast region. 

Working in concert with the SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence (SADI), the Missouri AgrAbility Project co-sponsored a full day AgrAbility training workshop for farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Thirty one farmers and ranchers from the southeast attended this AgrAbility educational workshop to learn how to weave though the maze of social service agencies. Presenters included Marilyn Duncan from the local Southeast Regional Arthritis Center, Ron Parker, Supervisor, Southeast Region Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Russell Ramsey and Karen Funkenbusch from the Missouri AgrAbility Project, and Krystal Berkbigler-Friese, SADI / SEMO-TECH Project.

As a result of the Missouri AgrAbility Project showcasing at the North East Independent Living Services (NEILS) Open House in Kahoka, Missouri, six new consumer cases have successfully opened.

The North East Independent Living Services (NEILS) and the local regional University of Missouri Extension Center co-sponsored the North East region Annual Farm/City Night. Approximately 300+ people attended this exciting Saturday evening activity wherethe Missouri AgrAbility Project along with many local businesses, hospitals, and social service agencies showcased their programs, disseminated informational materials, and provided resources to participants. The Clark County Farm Bureau supplied the free soup and sandwich supper, the Clark County High School Jazz Band performed, and participants enjoyed a motivational/humorist speaker. At the end of the evening door prizes were given out to attendees.

Women from across state of Missouri attended the first ever Women in Boots and Blue Jeans, A Risk Management Conference. This was a great forum for women in agriculture to get together and learn about the business aspects of farming and ranching along with how to network with others in similar situations. The two day educational risk conference focused on agricultural marketing, financial, legal, and health topics. Participants had an opportunity to learn from some of the top professionals in Missouri agriculture. Several featured speakers included Karla Klinger-Diaz from Simon, Diaz, & Ellis Law Firm who talked about the “Voices for Agriculture-Who is Being Heard?” Dana Rogge, statewide Program Specialist and Outreach Coordinator discussed the “Finer Details of FSA.” Diana Olson, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation discussed ways in which women can be heard while Karen Funkenbusch led an open, interactive discussion with conference participants about the Missouri AgrAbility Program.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project and Gardens for Every Body Project facilitated a full day training workshop about “Preventing Injuries Through the Use of Smart Tools” coupled with demonstrating the use of these smart tools.  Participants learned how to recognize ways to maximize productivity by decreasing injuries, identify risk factors, and how to access reliable resource materials.

Submitted by: Karen Funkenbusch