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December 2010


Jackie Allenbrand submitted an article to the MERIL newsletter about the AgrAbility NTW experience held in Charleston. She also attended a networking event in Holt County to make contact with other service organizations in this rural community on November 18. She participated in the AgrAbility national all staff conference call and provided fellow Missouri staff with an update. She also continued her work on upcoming outreach events in January and made contacts with farmers interested in the PHARM Dog project.

Trisa Nickoley, University of Missouri health promotion and education graduate assistant, and Karen Funkenbusch presented a lecture to 125 students in the PRT 3220: Recreation for People with Disabilities class. The AgrAbility lecture focused on how farmers and ranchers with disabilities are living full, independent, productive lives with a better quality of life which not only includes work but also recreation, exercise, and leisure activities. Adapted recreation majors also learned how the AgrAbility Program affects the rural agricultural lifestyle of farmers and ranchers with disabilities and their family members.

Don Schuster, University of Missouri Extension, attended the 2010 National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference™ sponsored by Small Farm Today® magazine held in Columbia, MO. This is the largest annual small farm show in the United States. Last year, it was reported that over 4,500 people attended to receive ideas and information on both traditional and alternative income opportunities for the small family farm. Short courses, seminars, farmer forum talks, and programmatic information were provided to conference participants. Some of the featured 2010 speakers included:

Also, at the invitation of Debi Kelly, Missouri SARE Coordinator, Don shared booth space along with Lincoln University’s Small Farm Program leaders. He provided AgrAbility information, answered questions about the state and national project, and referred potential consumers. Roughly, fifty to seventy individuals from MO, IL, IA, WI, MN, CA, AZ, KS, TX, AL, FL, WV, VA, Canada, and Africa stopped by the booth, asked specific AgrAbility questions, and took literature. Throughout the trade show and conference, Lincoln University’s Small Farm Program staff and Debi Kelly promoted the benefits of the MO AgrAbility Program as well as their own programs. New RSB staff was also in attendance attempting to identify beneficial programs for their clients.

Don also reported he is working with ten clients in various stages of report development and another seven requests are pending on-site-farm assessment follow-ups. His goal is to have this number down to no more than three in various stages of development.

Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension, presented two AgrAbility seminars for health care providers (OT, PT, Speech, Social Worker, Nurse, and Physician). Through continued educational efforts, one hundred health care providers recognized the value of the MO AgrAbility Program and learned how to assist and refer Missourians with disabilities and their family members.

Russell Ramsey, volunteer farmer, continued to lead Missouri's effort to cultivate change by formalizing a statewide AgrAbility volunteer peer support and caregiver network. The AgrAbility peer support and caregiver network will help Missouri consumers cultivate independence by sharing how they cope with the "ups and downs" of their disabilities, while caregivers explain how they have learned to better navigate the managed care system.

Russell and AgrAbility staff members also worked on a Volunteer Peer Support and Caregivers Barn Builders publication for Missouri. This publication includes past and present consumers with disabilities and caregivers from all eight University of Missouri Extension regions who are available to assist others with similar disabilities in reaping the benefits of AgrAbility assistance, services, and networking opportunities.

Trisa Nickoley attended the 2010 Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety & Health Forum in Iowa City, IA to receive updated rural health and agricultural safety relevant information and resource materials. Karen Funkenbusch also participated via teleconference in the Injuries among part-time farm families: linking an injury survey with 2007 agriculture Census data panel discussion with Risto Rautianinen, Shari Burgus, and Trisa Nickoley.

Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension, attended the 20th Annual Midwest Stream Farmworker Health Forum in Austin, TX as an invited speaker. She presented a program on Musculoskeletal Problems in the Farmworker Population. Also, Downs, Funkenbusch, Fossi, and A. Gonzales from the National Center for Farmworker Health provided a poster presentation Let’s Talk About Arthritis. Their poster presentation covered information about the purpose of this program, design methods, results/expected benefits, discussions, and conclusions of how the NCFH, MARRTC, and MAP develop a curriculum and set of training materials to be used by promotores (lay health educators) in educating migrant/seasonal Hispanic farmworkers about Arthritis.

Trisa Nickoley and Karen Funkenbusch developed an AgrAbility Fitness for Farmers display and worked on relevant handout materials. Trisa Nickoley showcased the display on December 3, at the Vernon County Extension Center Open House.

Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch