NDSU Extension - Burke County


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66th Annual National hard Red Spring Wheat Show & Managing Stress on the Farm and Ranch

County Agent News
Dan Folske
February 25, 2019 

66th Annual National hard Red Spring Wheat Show

The 66th national hard Red Spring Wheat Show will be held March 12th and 13th at the Raymond Family Community Center in Williston.

Dr. Adnan Akyüz will start the program with a look at the weather for the coming growing season. Two other highlights for the day include Nutrient Management with Dr.Spring Wheat Dave Franzen and Marketing Outlook with Dr. Frayne Olson. Day one rounds out with supper and a session on Hemp Agronomy.

Come out early on day two and join everyone at the free American State Bank Ag. Appreciation breakfast. You can’t take the farm with you when you go but your goals, values and character can continue; after breakfast Dr. Carrie Johnson will be speaking on succession planning.

Wednesday’s noon awards banquet will feature headliner Jessie Veeder, nationally known for the Badlands folk music. In the afternoon, featured speakers are Levi & Crystal Neuharth from Prairie Paradise Farms near Pierre, South Dakota. They will be looking to the future with soil health.

These are just some of the speakers you will hear from, and don’t forget the trade show booths.

Managing Stress on the Farm and Ranch

Farming and ranching is stressful – adverse weather, disease, regulations, low or volatile commodity prices, family dynamics, and financial worries are a constant. Stress can build and eventually take a heavy toll on your outlook.

Farmers and ranchers are unique business owners. Not only are they self-employed, there is often no separation between home and work. Failure affects not only your business but your whole lifestyle.

If you find yourself or someone you know beginning to exhibit unusual behavior such as lack of focus/motivation, uncharacteristic anger, or alcohol abuse, it may be time to evaluate stress levels and the overall farm/ranch situation. If you feel or see a problem please do not ignore it. NDSU Extension has resources that address the many areas of stress. 

People often don’t get the help they need simply because they don’t know where to begin. If you are dealing with thoughts of depression or anxiety, talk to your primary care physician and ask about available mental health services. If you don’t have a doctor, here are some resources you can use and services you can reach out to

Reach Out for Help

  • North Dakota 211
  • Reach out to a loved one – talk about how you are feeling
  • Talk to your friends, clergy, or medical provider
  • Reach out to a mental health provider

Suicide Prevention Resources

If the situation is potentially life-threatening, get immediate assistance by dialing 9-1-1.

Sean Brotherson, Extension family science specialist, adds:

"Farm and ranch families often experience pressure, conflict and uncertainty, especially during harvesting and planting. If feelings of frustration and helplessness build up, they can lead to intense family problems involving spouses or partners, children, parents and other relatives. If left unresolved, these feelings can lead to costly accidents, poor decisions, strained relationships, health concerns and risks, including suicide."

Using strategies such as controlling events, attitudes and responses can help manage symptoms of stress, according to Brotherson.

"Farmers, ranchers and their family members and employees can learn to manage their stresses well, even during planting, harvesting or times of difficulty,"

he says. "The key is to be flexible and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Make time daily to take care of yourself because your work is vital to all of us. Your health is your most important asset on your farm or ranch operation. "

To help manage stress, Brotherson suggests:

* Taking control of events by planning ahead and discussing who can be available to help before key seasons arrive - Make time to set priorities so you can focus on what needs to be done today and what can wait.

* Taking control of attitudes that influence you - Identify the sources of the stress you have, and which ones you can and cannot change. Shift your focus off worrying and onto problem solving. Notice what you have achieved rather than what you did not accomplish. Set goals and daily expectations that are realistic. How you view a situation is a key factor in creating or eliminating stress.

* Controlling your responses to stressful conditions - Take a break when feeling stressed, and focus on relaxing your body and mind. Take three deep breaths slowly and let go of unwanted stress. Think positive thoughts, balance work and play, find someone to talk to and seek help when you need it.

Brotherson encourages farm and ranch family members to get additional resources at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/farmranchstress and talk to trusted friends or associates, such as pastors or counselors, or call North Dakota's 2-1-1 help line.

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