AgrAbility eNote banner
April 2017


Social workers were able to earn 3.0 clock hours continuing education units needed for licensure by participating in the "Gaining Ground: Agriculture and Veterans" breakout session during the National Association of Social Workers, Missouri Chapter, 2017 Show-Me Annual Symposium. Sherry Nelson, MSW, LCSW, and AgrAbility co-coordinator, Northeast Region, University of Missouri Extension, and Karen Funkenbusch, director, Missouri AgrAbility Project, presented for 3 1/2 hours about how today's conflicts are different, and how the impact on our service members and their families goes beyond the battlefields. Information about Missouri AgrAbility's breakout session is available here.

David Middleton, Lincoln University and Missouri AgrAbility farm outreach worker for Lawrence and Greene County and small farmer, showcased Missouri AgrAbility during the Minority Farmers Conference in Sikeston (65 participants) and Small Farm Conference: Bringing Back the Small American Farm (300 attendees) in West Plains. During both conferences, David visited with participants about services provided by Missouri AgrAbility and disseminated promotional and resource materials.

The Missouri AgrAbility Program at the University of Missouri Extension received sponsorship from the Monsanto Global Capital Company to support six farmers and their caregivers to attend the 2017 National AgrAbility Conference in Knoxville, TN. Congratulations Blaine and Pam Kemna; Keith and Pauletta Raspberry; and Lee and Sara Howerton for receiving the 2017 Monsanto Travel Scholarship to represent Missouri at the 2017 National AgrAbility Training Workshop.

Submitted by Karen Funkenbusch

The Missouri AgrAbility Project was represented at the NTW with various partners presenting sessions and having a poster. The partners included David Middleton with Lincoln University, Missouri's 1890, and Jim Brinkmann with Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, presenting two sessions regarding Vocational Rehabilitation and agriculture as a viable employment option. Susan Jaster with Lincoln University served on the 1890 Panel. Karen Funkenbusch, PI for the Missouri AgrAbility Project, and Maureen Cunningham with the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, presented a session on agriculture and veterans. Becky Roberts with Lincoln University displayed a poster as part of the Missouri AgrAbility Project's contribution to the 2017 NTW.

In addition to the presentations and posters, the Missouri AgrAbility Project involved Jenna Wilkins with Lincoln University. Jenna Wilkins' first exposure to farming was in 2008, working on a two-acre, certified organic farm in Kansas City, KS. It was her first job out of high school where she learned the basic tenets of vegetable production on small acreages, high tunnel production, and sales through farmers markets and CSAs. Since then, Jenna has grown her own food on vacant lots throughout Kansas City, MO, and has been selling the surplus production at various farmers markets. In 2014, she helped found the Northeast Farmers Market, working both with the farmers and with an ethnically diverse community in Northeast Kansas City, MO, where she lives. This work required navigating the business side of farming and coordinating with growers and customers to foster a healthy relationship. As someone who grew up in Kansas City, MO and who has participated in its local food movement for several years, Jenna is excited to join Lincoln University Cooperative Extension's (LUCE) ISFOP team in the west central region of the state. She looks forward to working with both rural and urban farmers in Jackson county and to coordinating efforts throughout the region to increase production of quality foods and income for the farmers. Anyone in need of any farm/farming-related information and/or assistance may call Jenna at (816) 896-7078.