A new, interactive online series beginning this week seeks to help women in agriculture “cultivate resiliency.”
American Agri-Women, District 11 Agri-Women, University of Minnesota Extension and the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center are putting on the Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture web series to provide tangible things to help people weather stress.
The series will consist of six interactive sessions, each 90 minutes in length and focused on a particular topic. The sessions will be led by Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack, behavioral health specialists who have deep rural and agricultural roots.
Doris Mold, past president of American Agri-Women, says the idea for the series began when she was on a panel in June on Building Resilient Ag Communities. There was talk there of a need for more formalized support in rural areas. There aren’t enough people working in behavioral health, she says.
Women, in particular, tend to take on tasks in many areas, Mold says, noting that she and Megan Roberts, with whom she has worked on the webinar, both are farmers in addition to having other jobs and responsibilities.
“We’re like a lot of women out there who are trying to balance a lot of things,” she says.
Mold and Roberts, of University of Minnesota Extension, got a UMASH grant to address the issue of stress in agriculture. The web series is only the first step. Following it will be a survey and more conversation about needs.
Anyone without a web connection can register and later listen in by phone, which Mold says would make it more like taking in a podcast.
The free online series will be held at noon Central Time on Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, March 8, and April 12. For more information on the sessions and registration, visit http://umash.umn.edu/cultivating-resiliency.
Impact of Farming and Ranching Stress for Women 101, on Dec. 14, will give basic information on farming and ranching stress, the possible outcomes of excessive worrying or hopelessness and dealing with stress in health and healing ways.
Self-Care Tips to Help Reduce Stress, on Jan. 11, will include an overview on how stress affects health and well-being, as well as self-care practices an option to deal with worrying and stress and a practical tool to build and implement an individualized stress-reduction plan. The importance of connecting with others as part of self-care also will be addressed.
You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup, on Jan. 25, will discuss how unaddressed stress can deplete farming and ranching women’s energy and ability to effectively keep up with responsibilities. Participants will learn ways to manage stress and come up with ways to prioritize in order to keep energy high and meet many demands.
Building and Maintaining Relationships in Stressful Times, on Feb. 8, will discuss the importance of relationships in farming and ranching lives and ways to initiate, maintain or improve communication with spouses, family members, neighbors and community members.
Increasing Your Joy and Happiness While Living a Farm Life, on March 8, will look at how self-compassion, random acts of kindness and expressing gratitude can bolster positive feelings.
Putting it All Together, on April 12, will summarize the information presented throughout the series, and time will be spent answering questions or addressing topics based on feedback from participants.