Farming is a challenging and often stressful occupation – even without the added uncertainty created by COVID this year. Statistics show it is also very dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, farmers and farm works experience fatal injuries at a rate nearly seven times that of non-farm civilian occupations. Farming is also chronically plagued with stressors of the unknown including weather, regulations, input costs, and market prices to name a few. In recent events this is compounded by the emotional and financial trauma of COVID-19 impacts on the farm operation and family. Net farm income has declined 71% since 2013 and commodity prices have not exceeded the break even point for over four years. This increasing financial strain threatens the livelihood and heritage of our family farms resulting in chronic stress, anxiety, and depression for farm families.
Communicating with Farmers Under Stress is a four hour workshop for agricultural professionals who work with farmers and their families. Examples include ag lenders, vets, inspectors, seed/feed sales, breeders, Farm Bureaus and other associations. Because of their personal and business relationship with farmers, these persons may have the first insight that something is amiss. For example, they may notice decline on the farm or have to deny a loan application. Ag professionals may want to help, but may not be sure what to say or do. This workshop will help participants recognize signs of stress and learn techniques for identifying, approaching and working with farmers who may be experiencing a burden of extraordinary stressors. Other relevant groups could be health care workers, mental health professionals, and faith leaders who may not have a full understanding of the unique stress factors and lifestyle that is an inherent part of the agricultural professions.
Join us for the next Communicating with Farmers Under Stress workshop: