The Maine AgrAbility Advisory Council was developed with the purpose of advising and assisting Maine AgrAbility to do its work effectively and meaningfully across the state of Maine. Specific roles of the Advisory Council are to:
- Advise Maine AgrAbility on its efforts. (For example, what kinds of educational programming should we develop, where should we be engaged in outreach and marketing, what kinds of resources are most important to have on hand, etc.)
- Facilitate connections to and opportunities for Maine AgrAbility within each member’s professional and community circles.
- Address programmatic concerns as needed
- Assist with the development of a Maine AgrAbility peer support program (potentially through a sub-committee of the Advisory Council)
The responsibilities of Maine AgrAbility staff in regards to the Advisory Council are as follows:
- Educate and inform members about Maine AgrAbility goals and plans
- Facilitate Advisory Council meetings and communications
- Integrate Advisory Council feedback and advice into Maine AgrAbility daily operations and long term goals.
Who are the Advisory Council members?
Advisory Council members are initially identified by Maine AgrAbility staff as having professional expertise and/or personal experience that will help us accomplish our goals. The Advisory Council is intended to be representative of all the people that Maine AgrAbility works with, including farmers, fishermen, and forest workers with chronic health conditions/disabilities, rehabilitation professionals, health care professionals, agricultural professionals, and business people connected to agriculture. As the Advisory Council develops, members will identify and recruit for any unrepresented groups.
We are lucky to have a diverse, skilled, and dedicated group of people committed to helping Maine AgrAbility succeed by serving on our Advisory Council. The council meets quarterly to advise Maine AgrAbility on its efforts, facilitate connections, address programmatic concerns, and assist in the development of a peer support program.
A Maine AgrAbility Ambassador (MAA) is an individual who is trained and informed about AgrAbility and its mission, and someone who promotes Maine AgrAbility to the people in their circle of influence.
MAA’s can be agriculture service providers, health care providers, clients, and other individuals who promote Maine AgrAbility and help to recruit potential clients. MAA’s can be staff from Extension, USDA, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, Maine Farm Bureau, MOFGA, agricultural associations, logging associations, fishing and aquaculture associations, and more.
- Be familiar with Maine AgrAbility and the National AgrAbility Program
- Promote Maine AgrAbility in recruiting potential clients
- Refer individuals to the Maine AgrAbility Coordinator
- Read communications sent by Maine AgrAbility
- Attend orientation trainings and an annual gathering
- Report interactions informally on a monthly basis
Training and Information
Maine AgrAbility staff coordinate and provide the initial two 1-hour training sessions to learn about Maine AgrAbility (view the recordings). Maine AgrAbility’s project coordinator will keep MAAs informed through emails on a monthly basis and maintain an up-to-date listserv of all MAAs. An annual gathering of MAAs is planned to cultivate strong working relationships and honor their efforts.
Serving successfully as an MAA increases the capacity and access of the Maine AgrAbility program. On a professional level, being an MAA can serve as a community service activity, and can be referenced on your CV or resume, as well as providing increased civil rights activities. On a personal note, you’ll likely be able to help someone in your community and meet other like-minded individuals at the annual MAA gathering.
Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 207.944.1533 for more information.