Engaging Communities Through Issues Forums

Because participants are from a variety of community sectors, they may not be aware of the complexity of the issue, vocabulary, or all the types of individuals who are affected by the issue. Speakers can provide a brief overview of current situations. What you'll need: You will need to invite your speakers and work with them to set the stage that provides the overview you are seeking. Set time limits for each of the presenters. You may need presentation equipment, a resource list that can be shared, and short biographies for each speaker.

Timeframe : 1 hour

Our Story — Just the Facts and Context, Please

In 2018-2019, the presentation of recent research (Inwood, 2017) conducted by two of the authors of this ePublication (Inwood and Braun), brought new information to forum participants. Findings from farmers who participated in the research lead to a focus on farm stress, mental well-being, and access to health care. Findings were key to setting the stage for our 2018-201 9 Forums, “Linking Farm Vitality and Health.” This research, as well as an

understanding of what was already happening in each of our states, gathered through key informant interviews, assisted in translating the research into something usable locally. This set the stage for increasing participants’ knowledge and readiness to take action. Our 2021 forum focused on COVID- 19 disruptions in the food system and impacts on farms, food distribution and consumers. Our information gathering, naming, and framing process relied heavily on media reports, focus group input, and observations by Extension personnel trying to support clientele. Little research was available in 2020. We condensed information so that the focus group and eventually forum participants could share a common foundation for discussion. The farming, consumer, and community health perspectives were incorporated. This integrated approach helped participants from different sectors better understand a bigger picture of what was happening in the Delaware and Maryland Eastern Shore region.

Source: https://ian.mackey.net/pat/map/us/md/md.html in the public domain

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