We respect and appreciate our fellow agri-business workers big and small in our community. May is Stress Awareness Month and now that school is out for summer we want to shift our attention from our students to the families that support them.
Farming is hard work and comes with a list of challenges like no other profession. Farmers have a lot to manage including, but not limited to, financial stress, environmental disasters leading to crop failures/losses, managing the health of their livestock, and watching the stock market closely to get the most out of their harvests. Farming is big gambles, long hours, and at times monotonous work. And we NEED THEM to provide the produce and meat that end up on our plates, unsurprisingly they are often called, the Backbone of America. Farmers are tough, self-sufficient, and quick to help out a neighbor if that call goes out. Unfortunately, farmers and ranchers are very often reluctant to send out that call for help. Luckily this trend of suffering in silence is changing. https://www.fb.org/newsroom/new-national-poll-shows-encouraging-signs-of-reduced-stigma-around-farmer-m
As a farmer or rancher, you cannot predict the weather, the success of your crops, or the price of commodities, but you can take firm control of how you manage this stress and guide and support your fellow farmers with resources to help them manage their stress.
If you are just wondering what’s out there to help here are a few resources:
https://www.kansasagstress.org/ - This site is chock full of links to resources to help not only with mental health but also with financial counseling, disaster assistance, business assistance, legal assistance and so much more.
https://www.kfb.org/Article/Mental-Health-Resources - An article from a name many of you know, Farm Bureau. It offers videos and trainings to help you and your colleagues manage the stress that comes with farming. There’s even a link to a podcast you can listen to in your tractor while you are working your fields. https://aglaw.libsyn.com/episode-130-shannon-ferrell-this-world-is-better-with-you-in-it
Farmaid.org - This site was created to help farmers and ranchers in the United States. Their goal is to build strong farming communities by supporting family farmers.
You can call the farmer hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). Farm Aid staff answer the hotline Monday through Friday from 9 am to 10 pm ET / 6 am to 7 pm PT.