Trying Times: Tools to Understand and Alleviate Farm Stress

Project Overview

ENC18-170
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $72,714.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Meg Moynihan
Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Education and Training: extension, workshop, Adult response to farm youth in stress, Conflict navigation/management, Suicide prevention
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community development, community services, leadership development, partnerships, quality of life, social psychological indicators

    Abstract:

    This project developed materials and delivered training about several important farmer stress and mental health topics to Federal agency staff, State regulatory staff, Extension, lenders, clergy, social organizations, business people, and others.  Advisory group members and contractors developed three original workshops or seminars: Supporting Farm Youth in Stress, Navigating Conflict and Tough Conversations in Agriculture, and Suicide Bereavement in Farm Country. We also created an agricultural adaptation for a proven suicide intervention training called safeTALK: Preventing Suicide in Agricultural Communities. Finally, we refined a workshop called Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times and created materials to help people in and in and beyond Minnesota adapt and deliver it themselves. This project was led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with collaborators AgCentric Minnesota State Agricultural Center of Excellence at Central Lakes College and the Minnesota Department of Health. Other partners included Minnesota Department Human Services, USDA Farm Service Agency (Minnesota), and SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education,  and University of Minnesota Extension. We expected this project would reach at least 400 agricultural advisors, educators, and other professionals. Instead, it reached nearly 1,500.

    Project objectives:

    OUTCOMES

    Response to this project exceeded our own expectations.

    Planned: 150 agricultural professionals who understand the nature of suicide, can recognize people at risk, and know how to intervene to prevent their completing the act. (25 per location)

    Actual: 233 individuals who learned suicide alertness skills at one of six safeTALK:  Preventing Suicide in Agricultural Communities trainings and 252 individuals who explored suicide’s aftermath in a webinar called Suicide Bereavement in Farm Country.

    Planned: 150 agricultural professionals who understand and have practiced conflict resolution and de-escalation skills (25 per location)

    Actual: 685 individuals who learned ways to navigate conflict and difficult conversations in and about agriculture by attending in-person or online workshops.

    Planned: 100 individuals who work with farm youth are aware of how stress manifests itself in farm and rural adolescents and can intervene to help when they recognize signs and symptoms in youth they know (30 per location).

    Actual:  310+  individuals who work with farm youth are aware of how stress manifests itself in farm and rural adolescents and can intervene to help when they recognize its signs and symptoms.

    Planned: One replicable curriculum available for groups and individuals who want to deliver Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times within their organization or community – in person, or online.

    Actual:  A slide set and facilitator’s guide for Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times with tips on adapting adapting and using the workshop materials for in-person or on-line delivery.

    (Note:  Many people attended more than one workshop. For example, we promoted the Suicide Bereavement webinar to people who had attended our safeTALK: Preventing Suicide in Agricultural Communities sessions and promoted the online version of Navigating Conflict to all the in-person attendees because so many of them told us they would recommend the course to a colleague or co-worker.)

     

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.