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May 2020

National AgrAbility Project

Put 2-1-1 in Your Toolbox!
Stress over things that are out of our control is nothing new to farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers. To say that today's conditions have added to that stress is an understatement.

A resilient group, farmers are seen re-creating themselves; marketing products directly to their consumers; addressing community needs differently; all while battling systems and challenges that are limiting the opportunity to get products to market.

The AgrAbility team is no stranger to creatively addressing their client's needs, and they have come up with some unique service delivery methods while everyone works to remain connected.

At times like these, each person should polish up the tools in their box and be prepared to refer individuals to the help they might need.

The AgrAbility website links to several resources in many categories. Take a few minutes to see what is available, and be prepared with referrals for clients.

When staff, or the client doesn't know what resources are available, they should dial 2-1-1. Each 2-1-1 center is equipped with a database of community resources that range from food pantries to substance abuse support. Services are always confidential, and calls can be made by a provider to access resources for a client, or by the client themselves. Some centers are 24/7 and offer tele-counselling for those in crisis. At Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, staff have seen an increase in calls of almost 400% during this pandemic, meeting the needs of individuals who are struggling with mental health challenges, meeting basic needs, or navigating systems like unemployment.

Great numbers to have on hand in addition to 2-1-1:

AgrAbility NTW Version 2.0
Plans for the re-scheduled AgrAbility National Training Workshop are well under way! Contracts have been re-negotiated, speakers re-scheduled, and participants looking forward to a gathering kicking off on November 30th.

As all of this fell during times of turmoil and change in workspaces, work methods, and processes, staff are working diligently to get refunds processed, books balanced, and new registration up and running! Look for news on all of that during the first week of June!

Thank you to everyone for your patience as we work through all of the details and contracts and get our event online this fall. Fingers crossed that we will be in a much healthier spot by then!

Submitted by Goodwill of the Finger Lakes