Agriculture department webinar to explore “Men’s Sheds” as rural support systems

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Behavioral Health e-Memo



Agriculture department webinar to explore “Men’s Sheds” as rural support systems

Sheds foster friendships, reduce isolation, improve health

Join the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for “Should-to-Shoulder: Men’s Sheds in Rural Ireland and Minnesota” online at 9:00 a.m. on July 21. Learn how “Men’s Sheds” have taken rural and agricultural communities in Ireland by storm and see if these are something farmers and other men in rural Minnesota would enjoy. 

Men’s Sheds are activity-based social organizations for senior men to get out and do things with other men. They foster friendships, keep men active, reduce isolation and loneliness, and improve health and wellbeing. Most members are retired or, in the case of farmers, semi-retired. Sheds are independent: members decide what they want to do together, which may be anything from woodworking, to gardening, carpentry, fishing, community service, music, photography, cooking, biking, or other activities.

Men’s Sheds first began in Australia in the 1980s and have been making their way across the world, creating spaces for camaraderie among men. Australia now has nearly 1,000 sheds, Ireland has 450, Canada is at 20 and growing. Minnesota already has five sheds: do you know a rural community where a shed might take off?

Who should attend? Farm and commodity organization leaders, county staff and board members, township officials, social workers and human services professionals, library directors and librarians, farmers, Farm Business Management and Extension 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.

Where and when?

On Zoom July 21,  2021, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. (Minnesota time); 3:00-4:00 p.m. (Irish time)


This free event is hosted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  Register here to receive the Zoom webinar link.

About the Presenters:

Eva Beirne has been with the Irish Men’s Shed Association (IMSA) team since 2016, managing its National Volunteer Programme. She previously worked for a leading research and community development Centre, the Netwell Centre in Dundalk Institute of Technology, where she spearheaded the development of sheds in the Northeast Region of Ireland. Eva has also served on the board of the IMSA.

Aisling McGrath is a PhD candidate from Waterford, Ireland. Her work focuses on the implementation and evaluation of a community-based men's health initiative, “Sheds for Life,” which is delivered directly in the Men's Sheds in Ireland.

Phil Johnson is managing director of the US Men’s Shed Association, whose HQ just happens to be in Minnesota. A former jet pilot, aerospace technologist, and software developer, Phil was recognized by the AARP with the “50 over 50” Award for his efforts in organizing the US Men’s Shed Association.


Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event please contact Stephen Moser at 651-201-6012 or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 as soon as possible.

The MDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

For more information: Meg Moynihan, 651-201-6616 or

Rachel Paskewitz, 651-201-6018  

Videos about Men’s Shed:

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