Let’s talk about dealing with farm stress

Can farm work and farm life really balance? That’s the focus and title of a workshop set for 3–4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, during the Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) conference.

Led by Taylor Mendell of Vermont’s Footprint Farm and Kelly Cabral, a CFAES graduate student and a prevention coordinator with Ohio State’s Ohio Youth Resilience Collaborative, the online workshop will feature a discussion of “managing stresses big and small.”

Help for handling a tough business

“It is no secret that farming is a tough business,” the workshop description says. “It’s physically, emotionally, and financially draining, is reliant on the willpower and fortitude of its owners and managers, and is governed by markets, regulations, and weather beyond our control.”

Mendell is a “farm owner and mother who has worked through diagnosed anxiety and OCD disorders and created systems to help reduce stress on her own farm,” the workshop description says. Cabral is a rural mental health advocate and service provider.

Share what’s worked

Workshop participants “will work through short activities together, discuss strategies that have worked on each other’s farms,” and get resources for local mental health services.

“Participation is not obligatory,” the workshop description notes. “We’d love to see you in whatever capacity feels right.”

Feb. 12 is the online portion of the OEFFA conference. The in-person portion runs Feb. 17–19 in Dayton. CFAES is one of the conference’s sponsors.

Learn about attending the OEFFA conference.

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