Farmers have always faced issues beyond their control. Rural mental health specialist Monica McConkey says that uncertainty is the norm in agriculture. “It’s not like they can slap a price tag on their product and that is what they’re going to get for it and they can’t dial in the weather they want.” The current input costs and the volatile commodity markets are among the current challenges, increasing anxiety for farm families. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture hosted a webinar on dealing with difficult times. Ted Matthews, who is also a rural mental health specialist, believes in the value of communication. “The more we don’t talk about those things the more we pull back and the more we pull back the worse things get so getting people to talk about what’s going on and getting people from point A to point B becomes really, really important.” MDA has resources available on its website to help farmers dealing with stress and mental wellness.
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