On September 3rd, four Missouri AgrAbility staff members participated in The Army OneSource Resource Center free web event on "Key Components of Building Community Networks to Support Our Military." Participants explored:
* Identifying the most pressing needs of the military community
* Securing the right organizations, people and services for your network
* Forming relationships with policy makers and government leaders
* Spreading the word about your community network and educating the military community on how to find the resources available
* A case study featuring an organization dedicated to building community networks of support
Maureen Cunningham, director, Brain Injury Association of Missouri, and nonprofit disability partner to the Missouri AgrAbility Project, showcased and disseminated information about services offered by the Missouri AgrAbility Program at the 2014 Annual Kansas City Mental Health Summit. Community mental health partners who provide support to veterans and their family members were invited to participate.
AgrAbility staff members Maureen Cunningham Jon Sabala, veteran services director, Department of Mental Health, and Karen Funkenbusch, director, Missouri AgrAbility Project, participated in the monthly MOBHA Alliance teleconference. The MOBHA Alliance continues to meet via teleconference and face-to-face to discuss effective ways in which this Alliance can make 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.
Staff members from the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) continue to provide invaluable services to AgrAbility clients. The ISFOP provides help to small farmers and ranchers, especially those who are socially disadvantaged and under-served. The ISFOP staff members help Missouri farmers and ranchers become aware and assist them in accessing resources, including AgrAbility resources, so that they may improve their farming and ranching operations. The ISFOP staff members collaborate with the University of Missouri Extension, other key state agencies, and non-governmental organizations to provide research-based information on various topics. Contact Dr. K. B. Paul, ISOFP Program Leader at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension at 573.681.5584 or PaulK@LincolnU.edu if you have any questions.
Matthew Reed, MU graduate assistant and consultant to the Missouri AgrAbility Project, presented an AgrAbility program at the Veteran to Farmers program on Saturday, September 11th. Thirty-one veterans, eight family members (plus two toddlers) and one veteran mentor participated in the full day seminar. We also had eight instructors, two staff members, and one person who volunteered to take pictures and facilitate social media. This is the second successful Veteran to Farmers workshop in a series of four workshops planned and facilitated since August 1, 2014.
Joseph Brajdich, Missouri AgrAbility intern, and Jim Brinkmann, district supervisor, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB), presented to the blind merchants group about the different services to aid individuals who are self-employed and who are blind. The workshop was for individuals who are thinking about becoming self-employed. Joseph discussed ways in which individuals can tap into AgrAbility services while Jim talked about RSB services and shared information about the various AgrAbility self-employment cases RSB has had. Joseph also facilitated an AgrAbility interview about helmet protection to prevent secondary injuries for farmers and rancher with brain injuries. The interview will be aired in early October.
Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch