A new way to help senior men share their talents, foster friendships, reduce isolation and loneliness, and improve health and well-being has taken rural communities in other countries by storm and is spreading to Minnesota.
Anyone interested in learning more about “Men’s Sheds” is invited to join an online meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21 to see if they are something older farmers and other rural Minnesota men would enjoy.
“We know it’s important for retired and semi-retired men to stay occupied, but sometimes they can find it hard to make social connections,” Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen said. “Men’s Sheds are a chance to get out and do fun and interesting things with other guys.”
Men’s Sheds first began in Australia in the 1980s and have been making their way across the world. Australia now has 1,000 sheds. Ireland is up to 450. There are also sheds throughout the United Kingdom and in Denmark. Members decide what they want to do together – anything from carpentry, to fishing, community service, music, photography, to gardening, cooking, or other activities.
Farmers, farm and commodity organization leaders, elected officials, social workers and human services professionals, library staff, ag educators, clergy, civic and business leaders, and anybody else who might want to join, sponsor, or support a Men’s Shed in their own community are invited to participate in the July 21 webinar.
Presenters will include Minnesota resident Phil Johnson, managing director of the US Men’s Shed Association; Eva Beirne, manager of the Irish Men’s Shed Association’s National Volunteer program; and Aisling McGrath, a Ph.D. candidate from Waterford, Ireland, whose work focuses on the health advantages and impacts of Men’s Sheds.
This free event is hosted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Register here to receive the Zoom webinar link.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications