Prompted by the many sources of stress currently impacting farmers and ranchers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Red River Farm Network have joined forces to create a new radio and podcast series called TransFARMation.
The series is designed to increase awareness and reduce inhibitions about acknowledging farm stress, as well as highlight the resources available. Local farmers, ranchers and agricultural stakeholders are featured, sharing personal stories and offering a message of hope.
“Many people are struggling and need to know they’re not alone,” said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “This is a powerful series. We hear from farmers, ranchers and others in agriculture talk about some of the strategies and solutions that helped them when times got tough.”
If you or someone you know is wrestling with a challenge that’s more powerful than yourself, a list of resources is available on this page.
Episode Description: Episode Description: After a few tough years farming in the 1980s, Randy Koenen found a new career in farm radio. "I do miss farming at some points, but there are a lot of things I don't miss; I don't miss the stress," said Randy. "I was under immense pressure. I couldn't sleep at night, and I wasn't eating. Once I made the decision to step away, a big weight was lifted off my shoulders." For farmers that are struggling, Randy encourages them to consider the many options. "As farmers, we're builders, we're electricians, we're mechanics, we're truck drivers. As farmers, we have a skill set where we can do just about anything." Randy shares his story in this edition of TransFARMation.
Episode Description: The Red River Farm Network is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on a new radio and podcast series called TransFARMation. In the inaugural episode, Little Falls, Minnesota dairy farmer Brenda Rudolph shares her story about transitioning the family business. "Every farm transition is different, but the biggest thing is the struggle of being open and communication on the plan." As a couple, Brenda and her husband, Nathan, have a quarterly business meeting. "We treat it very professional. We need to communicate and so we created a set time for a meeting and it is not just by the bulk tank talking, this is business time." In addition to this podcast, Brenda's thoughts can be found on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.
If you have a story idea for TransFARMation, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact any of the advisory team members listed below.
- Jodi Bruns, North Dakota State University Extension
- Brandon Delvo, North Dakota Farmers Union
- Ron Dvergsten, Northland Community & Technical College
- Jean Johnson, AgCountry Farm Credit Services
- Riley Maanum, Minnesota Farm Bureau
- Monica McConkey, Prairie St Johns, Fargo
- Meg Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Brenda Rudolph, Minnesota Dairy Farmer
- Don Wick, Red River Farm Network
*Broadcasts are solely the responsibility of RRFN and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC, NIOSH or the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health.