Staff members from the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) continue to partner with the MO AgrAbility Project. The ISFOP is a program of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE), created to help the small farmers and ranchers of Missouri, especially those who are socially disadvantaged and under-served, to raise the level of efficiency on their farms while taking good care of the soil, the water, and the environment. A vast body of resources is available from universities, government agencies and all sorts of organizations for small farmers. Unfortunately, many of the small farmers and ranchers are unaware of the information or opportunities that are available to them. As such, ISFOP makes farmers aware of, and helps them gain access to, these resources so that they can improve their farms and farming operations, which in turn improves their overall well-being. The information provided to small farmers by ISFOP helps them adapt to a rapidly changing economy. They work in partnership with University of Missouri Extension, other key state agencies, and non-governmental organizations to provide research-based information on various farm topics to help farmers lower input costs, improve farming skills, increase yields/production, improve record keeping systems, try new enterprises, find niche markets, improve marketing skills, and add value to the harvest/products. For any questions, contact Dr. K. B. Paul, ISFOP Program Leader, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension at 573.681.5584 or PaulK@LincolnU.edu.
Because education encompasses a large part of AgrAbility's long-term investment strategy, Karen Funkenbusch provided a training program within the context of production agriculture focused on accommodating disabilities and avoiding secondary injuries in Amish youth. The target audience included rehabilitation therapists, physicians, social workers, care navigators, and nurse practitioners at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. Funkenbusch also shared customized AgrAbility resources and facilitated discussions with the Amish community.
AgrAbility staff members Maureen Cunningham, director, Brain Injury Association of Missouri; Jon Sabala, veteran services director, Department of Mental Health; and Karen Funkenbusch, MU extension, participated in the monthly Missouri Behavioral Health Alliance (MOBHA) teleconference. The mission of the MOBHA is to make effective, culturally sensitive behavioral health services accessible to service members, veterans, and their families by establishing strategies to raise awareness, increase availability, improve communication, and promote prevention. Alliance members include Army OneSource, Missouri Veterans Commission, Missouri AgrAbility Project, Missouri National Guard, Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations, Brain Injury Association of Missouri, Missouri Coalition of Mental Health Centers, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Mental Health, Truman Medical Center Office of Psychological Services, and University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) hosted their annual camp for adult survivors of brain injury. More than 70 individuals enjoyed a week of outdoor activities including fishing, boat rides, sports, target shooting and more. There was also a campfire, trivia contests, talent show and dinner dance. The BIA-MO's Donald Danforth Jr. Wilderness Camp is the only organized outdoor camp specifically for individuals who have sustained a brain injury. This week of fun for survivors of brain injury also provides a week of respite for family caregivers. Many of the campers are from rural communities of Missouri with limited recreational activities for individuals with disabilities, especially adults.
Submitted by Maureen Cunningham