Given the variety of ongoing challenges facing the agriculture industry, from low prices and uncertain markets to inclement weather and COVID-19, it’s no surprise Wisconsin farmers and their families are experiencing increased stress.
To provide relevant information and resources on this important topic and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues in rural communities, the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has created a new audio podcast series called “Rural Realities.”
“The goal of the podcast is to provide farmers, farm families and everyone in the agriculture sector with information and techniques to decrease stress in their lives and navigate the various challenges in farming,” said Jayne Krull, director of DATCP’s Farm Center. “While the first group of podcasts will focus on stress on the farm, the podcasts eventually will cover a wide range of topics impacting farmers and rural audiences.”
Beginning June 22, the pre-recorded podcasts run between 20-30 minutes in length and feature a different host for each episode. Podcasts are produced by Bill Baker, who also hosts the syndicated radio program, ‘Dairy Radio Now.’ ”
Dates, topics and speakers for the first five podcasts are:
• June 22 - “Breaking the Stigma of Farmer Mental Health,” Renee Sutkay, Journey Mental Health
• June 29 - “Your Brain on Stress,” John Shutske, University of Wisconsin - Division of Extension
• July 6 - “Navigating Change When the World has Changed,” Dianne Vielhuber, author and pastor
• July 13 - Discuss the “Undiscussabull,” Elaine Froese, farm transition specialist
• July 20 - “Farm Financials: When to Reach Out for Help,” Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial
Podcasts will be posted at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Growing_WI/FarmCenterOverview.aspx by 3 p.m. on the day they air.
The podcasts are part of a series of new initiatives developed by the Wisconsin Farm Center to provide mental health assistance resources to farmers and farm families. Since the mid-1980s, the Farm Center has provided information and support to farmers in a wide range of areas including financial and business consultation, farm succession planning, counseling services, conflict mediation, and consultation related to production opportunities and challenges.