Bury Seeds, Not Stress

The demands of farming life are plentiful — unpredictable growing seasons, equipment breakdowns and more.  Unfortunately, these demands take a toll on the dedicated people who drive our agriculture industry, which can lead to stress, mental health issues and even suicide.

For the past several years, Michigan State University Extension has been building a suite of resources to help farming professionals take care of their mental health. In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, in September 2019, MSU Extension hosted “Bury Seeds, Not Stress,” a free, comprehensive four-course webinar series.

Led by MSU Extension educators, the webinars covered a variety of topics, from the mental health stigma facing men to how to incorporate stress-reducing techniques into your day. Sessions were open to farmers, family members, industry workers — anyone who wants to learn more about how to manage the stresses of farming life and support our agriculture professionals.

Recordings and descriptions of the webinars are below.

Shannon Lindquist“Effects of Stress on Our Bodies” 
Presented by Shannon Lindquist

Long-term stress impacts every aspect of our lives, and each of us shows our stress in different ways.  Recognizing our signs and symptoms is the beginning of taking care of that stress and improving our overall wellness. 

Watch the recorded webinar here.

“The Power of Positive Self Talk” Holly Tiret 
 Presented by Holly Tiret 

When we are stressed, we can become overwhelmed with negative thoughts. One tool for dealing with our own negative inner dialogue is to learn to use positive self-talk. This webinar explores some simple tips you can to begin to use right away. 

Watch the recorded webinar here.

Sean Knurek“Men and Mental Health — Breaking the Silence” 
Presented by Sean Knurek

This webinar examines the prevalence of mental health issues among men as well as the barriers to seeking and receiving treatment — and how to try to overcome them. How to recognize signs and symptoms, including reluctance to communicate or minimizing symptoms, is discussed. A framework of how to have initial conversations with men about mental health is also shared.  

Watch the recorded webinar here.

“Youth & Farm Stress” Karen Fifield 
Presented by Karen Fifield 

The stress that farmers face — stemming from issues like low commodity prices, injuries and debt — can carry over into their personal lives and families. As a result, youth may experience stress from their families' farm conditions. This webinar covers the warning signs of stress in youth, ways adults can support youth in stressful circumstances and techniques to reduce stress.   

Watch the recorded webinar here.