National Crisis Text Line–741741
Text CONNECT to 741741. Help is available 24/7.
Farm Stress and Decision Making
What causes stress for farmers and farm families? Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? *** I haven't started the paperwork for that major loan due next week! *** I just learned two producers in my county lost their milk contracts! *** Should I go back to school with so much economic uncertainty? ***How will I ever find time to learn more about precision farming? *** We were supposed to start in the field at 8 a.m. and my two most important operators are not here yet! *** My spouse and I aren’t able to talk about things the way we used to… *** I haven’t had a moment to myself since we added all that custom work to make our business plan feasible. *** Who knows whether the big tractor will make it through another full chopping season?
How farmers Can Cope with Stress
Farmers and farm families are faced with a variety of stressors on a daily basis. Learning to manage feelings and behaviors during hectic times takes time, practice, and help from a professional. Farms of all sizes are feeling the impact of deteriorating economic conditions in New York’s agricultural sector.
Stress Management Resources
Sharing from the Center for Dairy Excellence website: Stress Management Resources Every day farm families wage their own personal battles – whether it is working through a very challenging financial environment, dealing with increasing regulations in almost every area of their business, struggling with market loss or just finding a way to navigate through the dynamics of running a family business into today’s world. It’s challenging at best, a battle at its worst. Too often, though, we choose to fight those battles alone. However, internalizing that stress can lead to both physical and mental health issues. It can also lead to accidents on the farms, conflicts among family members, and a host of other problems. Remember what matters most is your health and own personal well-being. Stress can take a serious toll on your body and mind. If you do feel overwhelmed, find people you can lean on for guidance and support, whether it’s a loved one, friend, or your pastor. Don’t ever try to carry the burden on your own. Having people around you can help you keep moving forward, and that is half the battle. Here are some resources that may useful. If Immediate Concern: If you have an immediate concern related to your own health or the well-being of a loved one, we strongly recommend you contact your local county crisis prevention center. Click here to access the hotlines for each of those county centers. http://www.cor.pa.gov/Documents/PA%20County%20Crisis%20Contacts.pdf Someone to Listen: Agriwellness, Inc. offers a list of hotlines that are available and have counselors on hand who understand agriculture issues and the stress of farming. Click here to access that information. http://www.agriwellness.org/hotlines.htm Iowa Concern Hotline (1-800-447-1985) offers assistance to address stress and mental health concerns. They are focused on farming and the rural area, but will assist anyone who calls. Their services are available nationwide. Resources to Help: Colorado State University offers a handout that identifies the symptoms of stress as well as some coping techniques to help manage stress during difficult times. Click on this link to access that handout. http://centerfordairyexcellence.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/managing-stress-during-tough-times.pdf The South Dakota State University, South Dakota counties, and USDA offer resources to help recognize signs of stress http://igrow.org/up/resources/04-1003-2017.pdf and alleviate farm stress http://igrow.org/up/resources/04-1004-2017.pdf Michigan State University offers an online course to help farmers better manage farm stress. That course is available at this link. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/new_online_course_for_managing_farm_stress_from_msu_extension The National Agrability Association has resources to help farmers and rural Americans manage mental health and stress-related issues. Click here to access their resources. http://www.agrability.org/resources/mental-behavioral-health/
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