Texas AgrAbility staff assisted with a Produce Food Safety Workshop for Military Veterans in Nixon, Texas, at Mesquite Field Farm. The workshop taught about GAPs and FSMA and included a hands-on mock farmers market booth inspection. The workshop was held at an AgrAbility client's farm.
Doug Havemann, partner and AgrAbility client, shared his experience owning and operating a farm in Texas as a veteran with a disability. Doug and his wife Melissa have Mesquite Field Farm outside of San Antonio. They produce grass fed beef, chickens, and some specialty crops.
Members of the BattleGround to Breaking Ground program and AgrAbility clients hosted a Sheep 101 workshop in conjunction with the ag business workshop in Seguin on June 28. They included information on sheep breeds, nutrition, predation, and included a sheep shearing demonstration. They also demonstrated how to give vaccines and trim hooves.
The custom stanchion shown in the photo was built by the client as a way to overcome barriers to trimming and vaccinating their sheep. It is equipped with a bench for the farmer/rancher and stand for sheep or goats to limit stooping. It also comes with removeable side rails to allow access for vaccinations, trimming, etc. They gave away a stanchion to another beginning farmer/rancher as a raffle item for attending the workshop.
Applications for the next cohort of the BattleGround to Breaking Ground Training Project are now open. The new cohort is open to military veterans with an option for other beginning farmers and ranchers to attend for a fee. Check out the application website here.
Submitted by Makenzie McLaurin Thomas