Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times

Meg Moynihan | 2018

Stress factors are high in agriculture. Farmers and ranchers face financial problems, price and marketing uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges, family tension, and more.

As a producer who has experienced stress herself, Meg Moynihan is poised to help agriculture advisors better respond to the stress they encounter on farms and in rural communities through her advisory role with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Moynihan and a team of experts have been designing, developing, and delivering trainings on farmer stress and mental health called “Down on the Farm” since 2017. Their Down on the Farm workshops help people who work with farmers recognize and respond when they suspect that a farmer or farm family member needs help.

“This project addresses the sustainability of farmers themselves,” said Moynihan.

Now available online as a toolkit, Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times is a 3-hour workshop that teaches people who live and work in agricultural communities how to recognize and respond when they suspect a farmer or farm family member might need help. It can be offered in-person or online.

The kit consists of 1) a PowerPoint slide set (ZIP) and 2) a Facilitator’s Guide (PDF) – you just add 3-4 people to make a delivery team. It’s free, and they encourage users to adapt and modify it for their own local area and audiences.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.