NDSU Extension

Accessibility


Impact Stories

| Share

Extension Helps Producers in Stressful Times

In the summer of 2017, with much of North Dakota facing drought conditions and dropping commodity prices, NDSU Extension Service agents and specialists recognized a need to help farmers and ranchers who were experiencing persistent stress levels that were negatively impacting their lives.

Stress in agriculture doesn't just stop in the field.

Farming and ranching is stressful. Adverse weather, disease, regulations, low or volatile commodity prices, family dynamics and financial issues can be constant sources of worry for North Dakota farmers and their families.

In the summer of 2017, with much of North Dakota facing drought conditions and dropping commodity prices, NDSU Extension Service agents and specialists recognized a need to help farmers and ranchers who were experiencing persistent stress levels that were negatively impacting their lives.

“One of the characteristics of people working in agriculture is that they tend to be self-reliant, but the tendency to go it alone is not helpful when dealing with stress,” says Sean Brotherson, NDSU Extension family life specialist.

Brotherson and an NDSU Extension team of experts in farm financial management, family relationships, and health and wellness came together to develop a variety of educational resources for stressed farm and ranch individuals, couples and families, and those involved in working with and supporting them.

A resource website was created to provide a central location for all farm stress-related resources, including educational materials on farm stress, a farm stress management plan and other resources on farming, finances and stress. Available publications include:

Other efforts have included training seminars across the state and region with agriculture professionals on stress issues in farming, displays on farming and wellness at trade shows and meetings, and surveys to assess needs in the state related to farm stress concerns.

“When there is stress in agriculture, it doesn’t just stop in the field,” Brotherson says. “It is likely to travel with a person into their homes and into their personal relationships.

“Our hope is to provide healthful, real-world resources to help farmers and their families cope with the sometimes stressful industry that agriculture can be,” he adds.

For more information:

Sean Brotherson, 701-231-6434,
David Ripplinger, 701-231-5264,

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.