Early 2011 has turned out to be a very busy time for CalAgrAbility. In January, consumers and staff attended the first regional Beginning Farmers Workshop, which drew nearly 70 attendees who want to learn farming and keep land in production. This was an important event as California farmers over 65 years old outnumber those 35 and under by 9 to 1. The number of operators under 35 years old declined 34% in the past ten years and 50,000 acres of prime farmland is paved over each year.
CalAgrAbility has been working with Glenn County Migrant Education staff to plan Spanish-language workshops in the north. In addition, the California AT Network has requested "rehabilitating farmers" workshops in two new venues in North State and in southern California. The Sutter County Independent Living Center collaborator has approached CalAgrAbility to do an interview with their media staff to highlight the program. The California Farm Bureau is also interested in spotlighting the "Emergency Preparedness" webinar in their next national publications. In addition, the California Institute for Rural Studies has requested assistance in developing a fotonovela in collaboration with the California Public Health Department. The novela will accompany a video, La Flor del Sin Nombre, promoting improved nutrition among agricultural workers and other Spanish-speaking families.
Submitted by Martha Stiles