Episode Description: Farmers are generally proud, independent and private people. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says we need to move beyond that. “We have to seize the potential in being able to heal ourselves by talking to someone,” said Duvall. “Whether it is a professional, a pastor or a friend, we need to find some way to let that out.” Zippy’s wife, Bonnie, passed away January 18, 2020 after a nine-year battle with cancer. “The first two weeks after that, I was holding it all inside and I was about to bust. All of a sudden, I started talking about it and it became easier.” Duvall shares his personal and emotional story in this TransFARMation episode and the importance of faith. You’ll also learn about AFBF initiatives dealing with farm stress and mental health.
Even during the best of times, farming is a stressful business. TransFARMation highlights the need for conversation and openness around farm stress and mental health. Listen to the series below.
Published February 17, 2020
Episode Description: There are still crops in the field and finances are tight. "These issues can be overwhelming," says Minnesota's newest rural mental health specialist Monica McConkey. "A lot of farmers are in chronic stress situations, having been very stressed for several years." McConkey goes on to say that causes them to go into an avoidance phase. "If farmers aren't understanding the programs available to help them, they just decide not to try or let a person they're working with handle it." Again, the current economic times can be overwhelming. Hear more about how to better navigate the programs available in the latest episode of TransFARMation.
Published February 3, 2020
Episode Description: Bob "Mr. Attitude" Prentice roots in agriculture, coming from the Wessington, South Dakota area. So, how important is attitude in agriculture? "Attitude is everything, or at least I believe it is," says Bob. "It's not always about having a positive attitude, but more of a proper mental attitude. It's about being able to find a creative and innovative way to take on the challenges in life." Hear more in the latest edition of the TransFARMation podcast. [audio mp3="https://www.rrfn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/020320-TransFARMation-Prentice.mp3"][/audio]
Published January 20, 2020
Episode Description: Binford, North Dakota farmer and rancher Tanner Overby's life changed nearly one year ago on January 30, 2019 when both of his hands got caught in a feed mixer wagon. There were extensive injuries to his hands and arm and he went through 12 surgeries in 30 days. Here's Tanner's advice for others going through a similar, traumatic situation. "Let people help you. I know it's hard to keep your head up with something like that, but moping and feeling sorry for yourself is going to make everyone around you miserable. Just try and take the high road; look at the positive." There was family, the community and people that Tanner had never met before giving him words of encouragement. "It was unreal; everyone was willing to help," says Overby. "There are a lot of good people out there. I was lucky to be from this small community when it happened." Tanner is engaged to Red River Farm Network farm broadcaster Megan Ternquist. Hear more from the couple in this episode of TransFARMation.
Published January 6, 2020
Episode Description: On November 6, 2012, Jack and Mardee Reich and their son, Vander, were returning home from Mayo Clinic where Vander was being treated for a brain tumor. They made it a short way when the family was involved in a tragic automobile accident. Jack and Vander died in that collision and Mardee was seriously injured. Jack was a well-known Angus breeder and a leader in the North Dakota Stockmen's Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. In this episode of TransFARMation, Mardee shares this very personal story. Mardee continues to operate the Zap, North Dakota ranch. "I knew I didn't want to make another life-changing decision at that moment; I had enough change." People often say grief goes away with time. "I don't think that's true," said Mardee. "When time passes, you learn to tolerate it. The grief process is the hardest thing a person would ever have to do, trying to move forward after sustaining a loss." For others dealing with loss, Mardee said they shouldn't ever be afraid to ask for help.
Published January 2, 2020
Published December 16, 2019
Episode Description: Stress is certainly a reality in agriculture today. That stress also extends to children on the farm. Maddie Smith's family farms in southeastern Minnesota. While Maddie may only be a freshman in college, she recognizes what is happening on the family farm. "Times have been tough for the last several years. I really don't remember growing up in a time when farming was good," she explains. "We definitely see what's happening with our parents and grandparents. I think something that is easy to overlook is it is happening to us, too." Parents often want to protect their kids and shield them from financial challenges on the farm. "Which is almost worse. It's like being left in the shadows," says Smith. " I love being on the farm, don't get me wrong, but at the same time it's kind of a cruel reminder of what's happening. We're losing money even though it's something we love to do." Hear more from Maddie in the latest TransFARMation podcast.
Published November 25, 2019
Episode Description: Farming and ranching can be overwhelming at times. That's why Minnesota, along with other states, have a Farm Advocate program to help farmers maneuver through the current farm economy. "It's going to be okay, we're going to figure out what we need to do," says Steve Zenk, farm advocate. "In some situations you might not be able to do what you're doing now, but we should be able to move you forward somehow." Zenk encourages farmers to be proactive. "Get on top of this, don't wait." That may mean having a frank conversation with your lender. "If you're going to be short, communication is important. Just go in and have a visit." Hear more from Zenk in this edition of TransFARMation.
Published November 11, 2019
Episode Description: Bryan and Sarah Klabunde farm in Minnesota’s Mahnomen County. Bryan is vice president of Minnesota Farmers Union and Sarah is a nurse and mental health advocate. The pair participated in a recent safeTALK training hosted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Health. The goal of this half-day workshop is to prevent suicides in our ag communities. In this edition of TransFARMation, Bryan and Sarah share their experience and offers insight into dealing with a very stressful harvest season.
Published October 28, 2019
Episode Description: With low commodity markets and continued harvest delays, farm stress is a reality. Do you know a farmer or rancher who is struggling? Bishop Bill Tesch of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America says it's time for straight talk. "Get past the price of corn and soybeans, right? Get to how's it really going and if you think someone is really in trouble don't be afraid to ask the hard questions." There is an acronym Bishop Tesch likes to share: ACE - Ask, Care, Escort. "Ask the question, offer care and escort or help them get to the services they need." Hear more from Tesch in this episode of TransFARMation.