Farmers After Hours panelists (from left) Barb Smth, Sarah Zastrow, Adrienne DeSutter and Kylie Rymanowicz.
By Kate Thiel
After seven weeks, our Farmers After Hours series wrapped up its preliminary run of conversations about farm stress and mental health. Each week brought genuine conversations about the real problems all of us imperfect people face.
Throughout we were fortunate to have individuals, farmers and other experts join in, all of them willing to share their stories, experiences, resources and techniques for dealing with mental health challenges. Each panelist shared impactful stories with our audience, aiming to positively impact others and break down stigma associated with this vitally important subject matter. The vulnerability demonstrated and the care they expressed for others amplified two core messages: (1) you are not alone, and (2) others are here to help.
But we’re just getting started!
Farmers After Hours showed us there’s much more ground to gain shining a light into farmers’ mental health issues with continued conversations throughout the agricultural community. Look for more movement soon as we develop new opportunities and partner with others to broaden your ability to access helpful resources.
While the live segments of our first series have concluded, you can still view the panel discussions and mini-sessions on Michigan Farm Bureau’s YouTube Channel. Here are snapshots of each component:
The Farmers After Hours series is a special project of the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. The Michigan Foundation for agriculture, a 501c3 formed by Michigan Farm Bureau, has a mission of positively contributing to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.
Kate Thiel is development manager of the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture and a member of MFB’s Farm Stress & Mental Health team.