MSU Extension hires educator Remington Rice to farm stress team

Rice will work on education and outreach efforts to farming professionals and their families.

Remington Rice.

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, the community outreach arm of the university, hired the latest addition to its farm stress team, Remington Rice, Ph.D., in August 2021. Rice will serve as a community behavioral health educator conducting farm stress outreach statewide, with a particular focus in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties.

“Dr. Rice is a welcomed addition to the MSU Extension farm stress team,” said Cheryl Eschbach, director of the Health and Nutrition Institute. “He brings technical expertise in health science to the role, as well a personal and family experiences in agriculture. We are grateful for his dedication and passion in assisting Michigan’s growers with resources and outreach.”

Agricultural professionals and their families face unique stressors and mental health challenges because of their work. Over the past several years, MSU Extension has emerged as a national leader in addressing farm stress and related mental health issues. Among the organization’s many offerings are:

  • A teletherapy program that connects farmers in need with therapists at Pine Rest Behavioral Services.
  • Workshops like “Mending the Stress Fence,” aimed directly at helping farmers and their families.
  • Weekly Facebook Live sessions for farmers called “Lunch Breaks,” held on MSU Extension’s Field Crops Facebook every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
  • Free webinars, online factsheets, and educational articles and much more.

Before joining MSU Extension, Rice earned his doctorate in health psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and his M.S. in psychology at Northern Michigan University. Rice, who grew up in Benzie County, hails from the fifth generation of his family to grow up on the same farm.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that raised me,” Rice said. “I grew up participating in 4-H and seeing my family make use of MSU Extension services like soil testing. I also saw firsthand the stress that can be associated with farming. So while this is a new position for me, it’s also like a homecoming in a lot of ways.”

To learn more about MSU Extension’s farm stress efforts, please visit the Managing Farm Stress website.

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