Rural Realities

Rural Realities

Given the ongoing challenges facing the agriculture industry – low prices, uncertain markets, trade uncertainty, and inclement weather - it’s no surprise that farmers and farm families are experiencing more stress. “Rural Realities” focuses on helping farmers tap into their resilient nature by presenting advice from experts that can help reduce stress, improve a farm’s financial situation, implement good farm family communication skills, and more. ***The department is providing this podcast as a public service, but it is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of department policy. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the department. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by department employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of the department or any of its officials. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact our Chief Legal Counsel.... Show More

Episodes

February 25, 2021 19 min

"Maintaining Farm Viability Through Volatile Times" by Kevin Bernhardt, UW-Platteville & UW-Extension

Navigating day-to-day operations on the farm can be extremely stressful and, even more so when farm viability needs to be evaluated and discussed. Kevin Bernhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at UW-Platteville and UW-Extension Farm Management Specialist, defines farm and economic viability, how it changes over time, and th...

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"Healing After Farm Stress Turned to Tragedy" by Brenda Statz, farmer and mental health advocate

From fluctuating prices to long work hours, farmers experience an extensive amount of stress every day. It is key to reach out for help and support when that stress starts to impact mental or physical health. Brenda Statz, a farmer and mental health advocate, shares how she lost her husband to suicide, her journey as a suicide su...

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December 21, 2020 20 min

"Farmers Facing the Future After 2020" by the Wisconsin Farm Center including Tracy Brandel, Frank Friar, Mike Lochner, Kevin Plante, Jack Ourada, Jeff Swenson and Norm Monsen.

From fluctuating prices to supply chain disruptions, 2020 has been a difficult year for farmers. The Wisconsin Farm Center team, comprised of eight individuals with collectively more than five decades of agriculture experience, provides a look at what...

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October 19, 2020 22 min

"Navigating Marriage on the Farm" by Ted Matthews, Rural Mental Health Specialist

Unlike other occupations, farming often involves the entire family being actively engaged in the operation. As farming comes with daily challenges, it is easy to let stress and tension get in the way of a happy marriage. Ted Matthews, a rural mental health specialist in Minnesota, gives insight on how to overcome and prevent marital challenges ...

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September 21, 2020 31 min

"Farm Children: They Experience Stress Too!" by Monica McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist

Farming generally comes with a significant amount of stress that can negatively impact everyone involved in the operation including youth of any age. Monica McConkey, a rural mental health specialist from Minnesota, discusses the signs and symptoms of stressed children on the farm and how parents can help struggling youth in this ...

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August 17, 2020 26 min

"Finding Fairness in Farm Transition" by Elaine Froese, Farm Transition Specialist

Farmers navigate tough conversations and situations every single day but talking about farm succession and transition is a once-in-a-lifetime event that can come with its own unique set of challenges. Elaine Froese, a farm transition specialist, shares tips and tricks on setting yourself up for success when transitioning the farm to the next g...

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"Farm Financials: When to Reach Out for Help" by Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial

In today’s ever-changing agricultural economic climate, navigating financials on the farm can be difficult and stressful. Paul Dietmann, a senior lending specialist with Compeer Financial, shares tools that can help you better evaluate your financial situation, key indicators of financial distress and where to reach out for help.

Experiencing a ...

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July 13, 2020 45 min

Discussing the "Undiscussabull" by Elaine Froese, Farm Transition Specialist 

Whether you need to discuss farm viability, succession to the next generation, future visions or just a simple operation change with your family, going into the conversation with healthy conversation tools and the right mind set is key. Elaine Froese, a farm transition specialist and lifelong farmer, shares insight on conflict resolution and how to...

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"Navigating Change When the World has Changed" by Dianne Deaton Vielhuber, Author and Pastor

Farming tends to come with a lot of unprecedented changes. From bad weather to ever-changing markets, these changes can be stressful and cause anxiety. Dianne Deaton Vielhuber, an author and pastor, explores how to navigate change in these uncertain times in this “Rural Realities” podcast episode. 

Experiencing a challenge on the farm...

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June 29, 2020 25 min

"Your Brain on Stress" by John Shutske, UW-Division of Extension

Given the variety of ongoing challenges facing the agriculture industry, it comes as no surprise that Wisconsin farmers and their families are experiencing extreme amounts stress. While it is normal for everyone to experience stress at some point in their lifetime, prolonged stress can negatively impact you mentally and physically. John Shutske, a professor and...

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June 22, 2020 27 min

"Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health" by Renee Sutkay, Journey Mental Health

From fluctuating prices to inclement weather, the uncertainty that comes with farming can create a lot of pressure and stress that weighs on you and your family. When the pressure becomes too much and starts to negatively impact your life, there is no shame in reaching out to a mental health professional for help. Renee Sutkay, Associate Director a...

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