; Making the Connection: Providing Resources and Support | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Making the Connection: Providing Resources and Support

Stephanie Plaster and Tina Kohlman


Decision making in times of change and stress can be challenging for many individuals due to heightened emotions, uncertainty, ambivalence, loss of value or identity, and/or adaptability. Service-providers provide technical support to their farm clientele, and yet, they may be uncomfortable or lack confidence when speaking to farmers during challenging emotional or financial times.
As agriculture service providers, we can provide much needed support and guidance for our farm families and community; however, many feel they lack the skills or resources to support them. To help agribusiness professionals feel more confident in engaging with farmers and referring them to appropriate resources, Extension Fond du Lac County Dairy & Livestock Agent Tina Kohlman and Washington County Agriculture Educator Stephanie Plaster developed a series of workshops, presentations, and resource guides on “Making the Connection”.
The “Making the Connection: Supporting Farmers During Challenging Times Resource Guide” was developed for agriculture service providers and focuses on how to respond, connect, engage and recognize. The guide covers making referrals, effective communication, transition and stress management, individual and business development resources, and recognizing crisis and providing resources.
The “Making the Connection: Supporting Farmers During Challenging Times Farmer Pocket Guide” was developed for farmers and focuses on signs of farm stress and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It also contains resources for where to find help.
The resource guide and pamphlet were distributed to 250 agribusiness professionals and 250 farmers. Another printing is planned dependent on further funding.