; Motivational Interviewing as a Tool to Address Farm Stress and Transitions | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Motivational Interviewing as a Tool to Address Farm Stress and Transitions

Katie Wantoch, Trisha Wagner, Stephanie Plaster, and Joy Kirkpatrick


UW Madison Division of Extension developed a professional development program in the use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) for educators from diverse disciplinary perspectives. The program was a novel approach to emerging and ongoing challenges with a proven technique to engage clientele on particularly time-sensitive topics.
Due to ongoing economic conditions in agriculture, many farms are facing significant financial challenges, resulting in questions regarding the viability of the businesses. Educators are working with farmers, farm families and rural clientele who have experienced chronic stress in recent years. Motivational Interviewing is one communication tool of many techniques that can be applied to efforts in supporting farms, and farm families dealing with stress and transition.
This program increased the professional capacity of Extension educators by improving their communication and facilitation skills.
Presentation will discuss the program development, implementation and impact on educator skills and ability to engage in conversations on critical and time-sensitive topics of farm succession, stress management and mental health for farmers, farm families, and rural communities. Due to the inability to meet in person, project team developed a Community of Practice to assist educators with practicing MI techniques. As a result of this project, educators gained confidence in their ability to engage and respond to sensitive conversations with clientele and have indicated that they are in a better position to develop strong relationships and presence in communities they serve.