The CalAgrability staff wishes everyone a Happy New Year.
CalAgrAbility collaborated with the Yolo County Farm Bureau in Woodland, California and the Pacific Region Arthritis Foundation (AF) to present the workshop, "Taking the Reins: Living and Working with Arthritis on Farms." At another venue in Woodland, CalAgrAbility conducted the training in Spanish at the Yolo & Parent Child center. In total there were 20 participants. Popular topics among participants were the various types of arthritic diseases, as well as the exercise portion where they learned simple and safe movements to do at home. CalAgrAbility and AF are developing a full exercise program for farmers that will be ready to pilot in early 2012 in coordination with University of California Medical Center and Clinica Tepati.
CalAgrAbility was also asked by the California NRCS director's office to collaborate on rural volunteer activities for their staff for National Service Day for all USDA employees coming up in January 2012. Staff members are working with a consumer, featured in the AgrAbility 20 Year Report, who had a devastating fire at his farm in December. Another potential volunteer opportunity that CalAgrAbility is coordinating with NRCS includes the California State Literacy Program, serving rural and farming communities throughout California.
CalAgrAbility is working with the Yolo County Master Gardeners Program on a workshop specifically for their membership. Another new collaborator, Advance Kids, Bradshaw Center-Based Program, asked staff to assist in initial brainstorming about beginning farming for autistic young adults. The state executive director of USDA Farm Service Agency in California renewed the FSA collaboration on reaching socially disadvantaged farmers with CalAgrAbility.
CalAgrAbility has a big agenda for 2012 and plans to initiate new chronic disease outreach. The staff is also committed to extending the program's work through social media outlets.
Submitted by Martha Stiles