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February 2016


MO AgrAbility participated in an informative meeting with the Agricultural Employment Services, Cultivating the Workforce program offered by Missouri Department of Economic Development to discuss how AgrAbility clients can tap into their FREE employment service. Agricultural Employment Services connects Missouri farmers and ranchers with job-searching assistance, training opportunities, agricultural labor law information, job referrals, job fair access, and skill assessment. AgrAbility clients, especially beginning farmers and veterans, have an opportunity to take advantage of services offered by both Missouri AgrAbility and Agricultural Employment Services.

AgrAbility displayed and passed out chronic health and safety resources at the Missouri Ag Expo, one of the largest ag trade shows in the Mid-South, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in January at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff, MO. The event was held Friday, Jan. 15, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The trade show was sponsored by Butler County University of Missouri Extension Council and the Ag Club of Three Rivers College. There were 118 booths to visit and opportunities to learn first-hand about agriculture and natural resources and their impact on the area's economy.

Karen Funkenbusch, Rebecca Mott, Kimberly Keller, and Jo Britt-Rankin, Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension, submitted an abstract, Using Photovoice for Evaluation of Services for Agricultural Workers Who Become Disabled, that was accepted to the 32nd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity, Honolulu, HI - April 25 & 26, 2016. This is an international conference that celebrates the human experience in the context of disability and diversity.

Missouri Farm Bureau, AgrAbility's partner in Missouri, partnered with the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Farm Credit Council, USDA Farm Service Agency, and Niman Ranch, to host a farm profitability boot camp geared for farmer veterans and other farmers. This innovative workshop will be hosted for farmer veterans and other farmers interested in starting an agricultural enterprise. This meeting will be a great opportunity to explore business options in production agriculture, learn financial tips from experts, and network with sponsors, presenters, and other attendees. Additional information forthcoming.

Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch

MO AgrAbility at Great Plains Growers ConferenceDavid Middleton, Shon Bishop, and Phillip Boydston, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension farm outreach workers with the Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program and partner with Missouri AgrAbility Program, showcased AgrAbility and disseminated health and safety resources at the 20th Great Plains Growers Conference and Trade Show. Several conversations were held with growers from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri, and information was shared about their state'sShon Bishop talking with potential client at Great Plains Growers Conference AgrAbility program. The annual three-day conference ran January 7th through 9th, 2016, in St. Joseph, MO. Five Extension services, from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, participated in this conference sharing horticulture expertise with conference attendees. This year's topics included organic growing, shiitake and other specialty culinary mushrooms, honeybees, and scaling up small farm production. The conference also included a comprehensive trade show that provided resources helpful to both home gardeners and commercial growers.

MO AgrAbility at Brining Back the American Small Farm conferenceDavid Middleton and Randy Garrett, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension farm outreach workers with the Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program and partner with Missouri AgrAbility Program, manned the AgrAbility booth and talked to many Missourians at the Bringing Back the American Small Farm conference sponsored by Ozark Farmers Co-op, Missouri State University, West Plains Chamber of Commerce, and Mother Earth News. Interest in AgrAbility was extremely high with several handouts running out. There were many questions and MO AgrAbility expects from 6 to 10 people to contact them for help from this small farm conference. This first time conference had a great turnout of over 440 people registered; a crowd that seemed General session at Bringing Back the American Small Farm conferenceto be hungry for information. Seminars on aquaponics, hydroponics, small ruminants, pastured poultry, no-till organic farming, beekeeping, urban farming, agritourism, fruit production, solar energy, and a few other topics were held. The first picture is of the AgrAbility booth and the other is of the first general session with the editor of Mother Earth News before the first of 5 breakout sessions during the 2-day conference. David reported he was very pleased with the response AgrAbility received at this conference and he hopes MO AgrAbility can do it again next year.

Submitted by David Middleton

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, a Missouri AgrAbility (MAP) collaborator, included two student pharmacists in MAP activities throughout January. Alex and Alicyn, student pharmacistsDuring this time, they provided one Pharm to Farm onsite farmstead medication assessment where they provided free health screenings at a value of over $125 for the farm family. In addition to educating the farm family about safe medicine use, they also identified coupons to decrease the financial burden of prescription medications for a potential savings of $1,460 for the farm family and linked them with AgrAbility caregiver support resources.

Pictured here are Alicyn and Alex sharing their background and why becoming pharmacists in rural communities is important to them.

Alicyn Wyatt-Magruder, PharmD candidate 2016, grew up on a row crop and cattle farm in northeastern Missouri. She learned firsthand the importance of rural communities, but unfortunately also experienced the limitations of rural healthcare. Having a mother with multiple sclerosis, she witnessed several instances where access to needed medication and medical attention was delayed or not provided at all due to living in a remote area. The issues of rural healthcare drove her desire to pursue a career that can help combat these issues. Alicyn recently returned to live on a farm with her husband in rural northeastern Missouri. She is employed by an independent pharmacy where she will stay on as a pharmacist after graduation. She is currently working on building a diabetes program at the pharmacy to bring much needed access to diabetes education to the area. In the future, she hopes to implement additional pharmacy services that are not currently available in her rural community.

Alex Schmuke was born in southern Missouri. Growing up with a father in the military took him all over the nation and to many rural areas throughout the country. Alex has seen the importance of how limited access to healthcare can impact rural communities and desires to help the population in these areas. Alex is from a small town in the central-eastern region of Missouri and is familiar with a large rural population in need of healthcare assistance in his local area. Alex chose pharmacy because he saw the career field as an opportunity to provide healthcare to large populations with limited access. He will graduate from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Pharmacy in May of 2016 and is currently seeking employment through the United States Air Force as a pharmacist. He would like to continue to travel and provide services to the armed forces. Ultimately, Alex would like to finish his career close to home in the rural setting with which he is comfortable in order to continue to help the population that has limited access to healthcare needs.

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, Missouri AgrAbility collaborative partner, was notified of Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) funding for a project entitled: Evaluation of Medication-Related Agricultural Injury among Missouri Farmers. Principal investigator: Kelly Cochran, PharmD, BCPS; Co-Investigators: Roger Sommi, PharmD, BCPP, FCCP, David Mehr, MD, MS and Loren Schultz, DVM, MS, DACVPM.

Submitted by Kelly Cochran

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri participated in the Missouri Injury and Violence Prevention Advisory Committee (MIVPAC) meeting comprised of community partners and the Department of Health and Senior Services. The topics of traumatic brain injuries and falls prevention for all ages in all communities, including farming and ranching to incorporate AgrAbility, will be part of the MIVPAC strategic plan that is being developed.

Submitted by Maureen Cunningham