From the Heart

In trying times, where do you turn?

Farmers are some of the most humble, down to earth people I know and they thrive on being able to feed the country. The stresses these farmers and farm families are enduring and hard on everyone involved. While they know that they work in a business where risks are always present due to weather, they sometimes need support and encouragement to work through their own mental and physical stress and even fatigue during these times.  Most of the farmers live on the land they farm and don’t have the chance to get away from these stresses. Most of us that work, work at a place that when it gets stressful, we get to leave for the day.  Farmers, on the other hand, don’t usually have this option.  They live, sleep and breathe their occupation.

There are so many decisions that farmers are making today into what this generation knows as uncharted territory.  They are worried about wet weather, how will I feed my livestock and where will my income come from?  Maybe you are a farmer reading this or maybe the farm wife, the neighbor, the family member or an agribusiness person, but one thing is for sure farmers are the heartbeat of many communities.  This week in the CORN newsletter, I am asking you who are reading it to take into account some steps outside your normal routine.

1. Slow down and breathe – farmer, farm family or other – we live in such a fast-paced world.  There are decisions that are being made that effect so many people.  We are truly all in this together.  We need to be kind and a friend at all times.

2. Take five minutes to take care of yourself. Depression and anxiety are real and you may seem like you can’t even put one foot in front of the other today. Let me tell you something, you are valuable, you are needed and it will be okay.  Maybe not okay in the sense that you think or the direction or path that was in your “Plan A” but you will be okay.

3. Give a smile, hello, nod or wave to another human being.  Remember it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

4.  If you feel these families need some extra help, reach out to your local Extension Office and they will help point you in the right direction.

The CORN newsletter is full of information to help in the decision process.  No, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns – it is real-life decisions. Farmers, this week as you are reading the articles, remember these few things. Write down your options (the pros and cons). Talk with your local Extension Educator or call them out for a farm visit. We, at OSU Extension, are here for you. We care about you even if you have never stepped foot into our office. Our service to you is free.

Additionally, as you read through the articles, think about your options. When it comes to questions on prevent plant acres contact your insurance agent. Don’t just assume they know your plans. This newsletter contains recommendations based on agronomic principals and potential considerations from an agricultural production perspective. If the management will be applied to crop insured acres you should check any impact that the management change will have on current or future insurance payments and eligibility.

Please share this information in any way possible – forward the email, tweet the post #FarmLivesMatter, share to your non-farm friends, Snapchat it to your kids, post on Instagram, print it off and drop it at church or even the local grocery store. The agriculture community is powerful and has many opinions, stresses, and directions.  Some people have no clue what is going on in an agriculture world, share with them.

Lastly, I am asking the community to check on your farmer neighbors and their families. Drop into the farm to check on the farmer and family. Bring them dinner but don’t just drop it off actually share some time with that family. They may come up with every excuse that the house is not clean or I am too busy. Maybe even drag them to your house for dinner. They may not want you there but they need you there as their support system.  Getting a vacation from the farm is probably what many families are eliminating due to financial pressures, but human interaction is one powerful value. While a simple was to check in text message don’t work in these situations.  They need your empathy not your sympathy. Go old school and play the board game, shut down the social media and have a conversation.  These things only cost your time. Did you ever think about giving back to those people who help feed the world?

Have a great week – Potentially more to come this week – Sarah Noggle, Editor CORN Newsletter

You can find more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/201919/heart

Health Insurance Text Message Program

Health insurance can be a complicated topic.  There are many different plans offered nationwide, each of which have a different cost and may cover different health care services. Once you pick a plan, you then need to know how to best use it to manage your health and finances.

To help you gain confidence and understanding about health insurance choice and use, the Cooperative Extension’s Health Insurance Literacy Action team has created a text message campaign to help you better understand health insurance.  The campaign focuses on four areas with 10 messages each:

  • Reasons health insurance is important
  • Health insurance and risk management
  • Health insurance and preventive services
  • Health insurance terms

We are seeking young adults born between the years 1982 and 1998 to help us test these messages. You can opt into one, some or all of the messages.  Each week, you will be sent two interactive messages over five weeks for each group.  The study will run between five and 20 weeks, depending on which areas you want information on.

Participation is free and voluntary. All your information will be confidential.  You will be asked to complete a short survey to describe who you are.  Before each group of messages, you will be asked to complete a three to five question survey about your confidence and knowledge on each topic.  This survey will be repeated at the end to see if our messages helped you become more confident about health insurance. At the end of the survey, you will be given the option to enter a drawing for one of five, $50 gift cards.

Spots are limited so enroll early.  If interested, please text START to 216-302-1673.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Virginia Brown, the study leader, at vbrown12@umd.edu or 410-386-2760.

Sincerely,

Dr. Virginia Brown, University of Maryland Extension

Dr. Mary Jo Katras, University of Minnesota Extension

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, Kansas State University

Dr. Joan Koonce, University of Georgia

Dr. Kenneth Martin, Ohio State University

Dr. Dena Wise, University of Tennessee

It’s Not Too Late to Register for the East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference!

It’s not too late to register! Registration will remain open for the 2019 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference until tomorrow, Monday, March 18 at noon. This year’s conference will be this Friday, March 22 from 9:00 am – 3:45 pm. This year the event will be held at R. G. Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive SE, Massillon, OH 44646.

This year’s program will feature 19 break-out sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, farmers, and partner agencies including: Business & Finance; Plants & Animals; Communication; Home & Family; Special Interest (tractors, soil, microgreens, and aquaponics). As always, Ohio FFA state officers will be teaching one of the communication sessions open to all participants. Our keynote speaker for this year will be Dr. Jeff Dwyer, Director of Michigan State University Extension and Senior Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement. He will speak about the effects of stress on Michigan farm families and how Extension is helping to “Weather the Storm in Agriculture.”

We can’t wait to see you Friday!

Register online at go.osu.edu/eowia2019 or complete and send this registration form to: Women in Agriculture, Agricultural Administration, 34 Ag. Admin. Bldg., 2120 Fyffe Rd., Columbus, OH 43210

2019 East Ohio Women in Ag Conference Registration

 

2019 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference Registration is Open!

It’s time! Registration is now open for the 2019 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference. This year’s conference will be Friday, March 22 from 9:00 am – 3:45 pm. This year the event will be held at R. G. Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive SE, Massillon, OH 44646.

This year’s program will feature 19 break-out sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, farmers, and partner agencies including: Business & Finance; Plants & Animals; Communication; Home & Family; Special Interest (tractors, soil, microgreens, and aquaponics). As always, Ohio FFA state officers will be teaching one of the communication sessions open to all participants. Our keynote speaker for this year will be Dr. Jeff Dwyer, Director of Michigan State University Extension and Senior Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement. He will speak about the effects of stress on Michigan farm families and how Extension is helping to “Weather the Storm in Agriculture.”

We can’t wait to see you there!

Register online at go.osu.edu/eowia2019 or complete and send this registration form to: Women in Agriculture, Agricultural Administration, 34 Ag. Admin. Bldg., 2120 Fyffe Rd., Columbus, OH 43210

2019 East Ohio Women in Ag Conference Registration