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January 2015


In partnership, AgrAbility staff members from the UM Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, and Brain Injury Association of Missouri were busy during the holiday season, increasing the likelihood that Missouri farmers, ranchers, farmworkers and farm family members with disabilities will experience success in agricultural production by facilitating the following USDA NIFA priorities:

Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri hosted an inaugural Networking Coffee for professionals in the field of brain injury on December 11, 2014, in Springfield. This gathering was well attended by vocational counselors, rehabilitation service providers, therapists, and an attorney.

This Networking Coffee will be held quarterly in February, May, August and November, 2015. Invitation is open for specialists of all disciplines serving individuals who have a brain injury, including acquired brain injury from a stroke, aneurysm, or anoxia.

AgrAbility was a topic of interest among residential facilities caring for individuals with disabilities as an employment/revenue-generating project for residents. The increased awareness among the rural-based residential homes would provide personal income for individuals with brain injury while utilizing the land available at the home. The daily work of farming or gardening by the individuals with disabilities will result in pride of accomplishment, teamwork among residents, and products to sell within their community.

Two support groups of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri were visited. Survivors of brain injury and family members were appreciative to learn more about AgrAbility as a vocational option of farming or ranching. One survivor of brain injury at the Kansas City, Missouri, support group shared his positive experience with AgrAbility, although he chose to move and no longer has the land available. This personal sharing demonstrated the success of AgrAbility and increased awareness among survivors of brain injury and their families.

Submitted by Maureen Cunningham