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September 2009


CalAgrAbility staff have taken advantage of the Communities of Interest series this past month.   They have not only participated, but also invited many VR, AT, and ergonomists throughout California  to join.  So far several professionals  have joined the.VR, Ergonomics, Mental Health and AT conference calls.

In August, staff conducted the “Rehabilitating Individuals Farming in California” workshop to Northern Counties VR Region, which included counselors, job developers and CA Employment Development Outreach Reps.   The "Rehabilitating" workshop  was also presented to the Veterans and Farmers Coalition and the CA Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS), who conduct outreach to veterans who farm.  CIRS works in rural areas to contribute to sustainable agriculture for farmers and workers.

In August, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack held a 'Rural Tour' community forum in Stanislaus County and discussed how USDA is working to assist CA farming. CalAgrAbility partners attended and  heard that USDA's Rural Development has guaranteed 1,543 loans; Farm Service Agency is providing $5.68 million through 69 Direct Operating Farm Loans. These loans help farmers purchase items such as livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance, and pay for other operating expenses. The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced approximately $6.6 million for 6 floodplain easement projects and more than $10 million in funding for watershed operations.

Submitted by: Martha Stiles