Russell Ramsey, AgrAbility volunteer and farmer liaison, University of Missouri Extension, has been busy traveling around the Southeast region disseminating AgrAbility information, AgrAbility resource materials, his AgrAbility business card, and grain safety booklets to locate MFAs. He also visited with several USDA FSA and NRCS offices to discuss assistance available to farmers and ranchers with disabilities, professional training opportunities, onsite farm services, and resources available from the MO AgrAbility program. Russell also has been facilitating AgrAbility onsite farm assessments in the Southeast region.
Don Schuster, AgrAbility assistive technology coordinator, University of Missouri Extension, has been busy conducting onsite farm assessments. Currently, he is facilitating 17 AgrAbility cases for the MO Rehab Services for the Blind and seven cases with veterans. He also visited with USDA FSA and NRCS offices to discuss assistance available to farmers/ranchers with disabilities, professional training opportunities, onsite farm services, and resources available from the MO AgrAbility program.
Faculty members from the University of Missouri Extension and AgrAbility program staff showcased the AgrAbility program on the University of Missouri campus during MU’s Celebrate Ability Week. Also during Disability Awareness month, University of Missouri Extension campus and community based faculty collaborated with local Centers for Independent Living in the Southeast, South central, Southwest, Central, West central, East central, Northeast, and Northwest regions to disseminate MO AgrAbility information, MO AgrAbility Emergency Preparedness booklets, MO AgrAbility resource materials on small acre gardening, and farming with disabilities tip and fact sheets, and showed the National AgrAbility DVD.
Lisa Wallace, University of Missouri Extension human development specialist and Henry and West central region county program director, disseminated the MO AgrAbility Emergency Preparedness Booklet to 100 participants during her adapted lesson, Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate. This program originated at the University of Minnesota Extension and is about transferring non-titled, personal property before or after a death. Lisa also reported her adapted lesson can be done as a mail out lesson instead of face-to-face trainings, so self-explanatory information such as the MO AgrAbility Emergency Preparedness booklet works great.
Faculty members from the University of Missouri Extension and MO AgrAbility program showcased at the Mature Living Festival held in Boone County. Over three hundred participants attended the event, which offered a great place for aging adults to get excellent resource materials, in addition to free health screenings, cooking demos, health and disability information, Medicare information, housing options, fraud protection, and financial planning. Over sixty exhibitors were on hand to discuss their services. Sponsors included Boone Hospital, Columbia Surgical Associates, Missouri Foundation for Health, Peak Performance Physical Therapy Group, Hear USA, and the Better Business Bureau.
Seventy five participants (Nurses, OTs, and PTs) from across the state attended the 2011 Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Update, held in Columbia, MO. 5.3 CE credits were awarded and each participant received an AgrAbility informational packet which included State and National AgrAbility resource materials as well as the Tool Box CD, MO Farming with Arthritis DVD, National AgrAbility DVD, and AgrAbility: Gardens For Every Body arthritis resource materials for small acre gardeners. Participants reported the MO AgrAbility packet of information was a great resource and they glad it was provided.
Human development specialists from the University of Missouri Extension Center in Nevada, MO presented eight sessions of Live Like Your Life Depends On It at the local independent living center, On My Own, Inc, in Nevada, MO. Selected MO AgrAbility and AgrAbility: Gardens For Every Body resources were also provided to participants.
Using Adobe Connect web conferencing, Willard Downs and Karen Funkenbusch have been able to provide monthly AgrAbility and Gardens for Every Body updates to agricultural systems management and Extension regional faculty. Adobe Connect has been one effective method to successfully meet the USDA priorities—education, network, assistance, and marketing.
Jackie Allenbrand, AgrAbility outreach specialist, MERIL, reported she presented PHARM Dog project and AgrAbility activities to the Happy Hour Club. The Happy Hour Club started as an Extension club and has been in existence for 75 years in Gentry County. The PHARM Dog program also placed an 11 week old puppy with a farmer in Southern Missouri. This farmer will bond with the pup and will then come back in for training after 10 to 12 months. Jackie’s outreach activities have included meeting with the Albany superintendent of schools to discuss PHARM Dog project and potential work together with FFA students and working on information to share with other states interested in the PHARM Dog project.
Submitted by Jackie Allenbrand, Willard Downs, Karen Funkenbusch, Pat Miller, Don Schuster, Russell Ramsey, and Lisa Wallace