University of Missouri Extension, state and regional faculty from the Missouri AgrAbility, Gardens for Every Body, and Eating from the Garden programs, a nutrition and gardening program, collaboratively showcased during the Missouri State Fair, August 13th through August 23rd. Fairgoers learned about ways to extend their growing season using hydroponic gardens and ergonomic garden tools. Eating from Garden disseminated research-based information through nutrition and gardening activities to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, expand gardening knowledge, and promote healthier food choices and physical activity. The Missouri AgrAbility Gardens for Every Body shared AgrAbility information and resource materials about ergonomic and adaptive garden tools, raised beds, accessible gardening, and the programmatic website located at http://agrability.missouri.edu/gardenweb.
Missouri AgrAbility collaborated with the Show-Me Farm Safety program to showcase farm health and safety interactive displays during the Missouri State Fair. Show-Me Farm Safety is a partnership between the Missouri departments of Agriculture and Labor Relations, Missouri Farm Bureau, University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service, the Missouri FFA Association, and many others, to connect producers with resources to reduce on-farm injuries and health hazards. Collaboratively, Show-Me Farm Safety helps to grow a new generation of farmer who will inherit the land, have a strong work ethic, and be mindful of health and safety. Information about joint partnership is found at http://farmsafety.mo.gov/.
Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch
Staff member Joseph Brajdich worked to secure funds from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to buy a brand new set of respirators and build wooden stands to display for clients and to advocate for continued safety and awareness while working on the farm. Included in the display were four different types of masks covering most levels of farm needs. These masks were on display at the Missouri State Fair for 10 days.
AgrAbility staff member Joseph Brajdich finished 11 "AgrAbility Display Kits" for Lincoln University (1890 Land Grant University) and The Brain Injury Association of Missouri. These kits include photos from successful cases, including equipment, and information about the Missouri AgrAbility Project, partners, and grant numbers. This is all included in a convenient, zip-able carry tote for travel. Once these kits are received, they will be used to promote AgrAbility across the state.
AgrAbility Client Carey Portell gave a passionate and moving presentation to an all-female audience on August 28th, 2015, at the Women in Ag Conference in Columbia, MO. Following the presentation, Carey was given a standing ovation and women waited in line for an hour to talk to her. During this time, she was able to share about her disability, the result of a Christmas Eve head-on collision, her two children also being in the car, with a drunk driver going at over 80 MPH, and the hope and advocacy she found with AgrAbility. She has become a very successful motivational speaker and full time cattle rancher with three separate farms.
AgrAbility staff member Joseph Brajdich facilitated a meeting on AgrAbility's upcoming 25th anniversary for director/PI Karen Funkenbusch and MU Extension media writer/photographer Linda Geist. During this meeting, Joseph facilitated questions, brainstormed potential clients for inclusion, and explained the details that were shared in the last all-staff call in August. Missouri AgrAbility plans to have six clients' stories included in their submission.
Susan Jaster, farm outreach worker, Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program, Lincoln University, and collaborative partner working with the Missouri AgrAbility Project, presented information about AgrAbility at the Women Landowners' Agriculture Conference (WLAC). The WLAC is a Lafayette and Ray County group of women who do an annual agriculture education conference and farm/ranch tours. She also served as one of the Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN) and Women Caring for the Land (WCFL) moderators for several program sessions. Seventy-five women landowners, especially older women, who suddenly found themselves in charge of agricultural land because they have inherited it, have been an absentee owner, or have begun to rent it out, learned how to get their tenant farmer to follow conservation practices. There is a "big" need for Women Caring for the Land programs since women own almost HALF of all private land.
A record number of Missouri State Fair attendees received Pharm to Farm health and safety outreach, along with Missouri AgrAbility Project information which was provided to potential clients. Located in the Mizzou Central area of the Mo-Ag Theater building with College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, 21 University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy students and 5 pharmacists provided education and health screenings to 1,057 individuals from 23 counties. Awareness and publicity was provided through MU CAFNR website as well as being projected on the wall of the building throughout the day-long event. Seventy-seven individuals received blood pressure screening and heart health education, 88 individuals received blood sugar screening and diabetes prevention education, 48 individuals received bone density screening, 62 individuals were educated about immunizations, 134 received education about proper skin protection/sunscreen use, and 50 individuals were educated about heartburn prevention. Two stations provided education to 592 adults, teens and children about medication safety/poison prevention, and healthy diet/lifestyle.
Maureen Cunningham with the Brain Injury Association of Missouri participated in the assessment of need and planning of a new support group in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. The new support group will be for survivors of brain injury. Because of this networking and marketing activity for the Missouri AgrAbility Project, it is anticipated that AgrAbility and its partners will be presenters at this group's meetings. Topics will include the Pharm to Farm presentation by University of Missouri - Kansas City Pharmacy students and an overview of AgrAbility for survivors of brain injury and their families on how to be self-employed in a productive farm or ranch operation.
The Truman VA Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, held a VA Summit in August 2015 that was attended by Maureen Cunningham. At this meeting, AgrAbility material was displayed on the information table and a quick overview was provided during group introduction. These activities resulted in one-on-one conversations with interested coordinators of various programs that serve veterans.
Submitted by Maureen Cunningham