Beck's Blog

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CropTalk: Farming Takes Hope

November 2020

Published on Monday, November 2, 2020

Farmers deal with so much out of their control – weather extremes, commodity prices, land values. With these factors in play, stress is not hard to fi nd on a farm. But that does not mean that farmers should have to bottle up their stress and anxiety until it starts wearing on their physical, mental, and emotional health.

One Beck’s dealer has seen the power of how simply being open to having a conversation can lead to hope for farmers under stress. For purposes of anonymity, real names are not being used in the following story.

“This spring, I had a customer, Bob, that you could tell wasn’t having a good time farming anymore and was having a hard time finding financing for spring planting,” he said. “We had a mutual friend, John, that is another customer of mine. John gave me a call and asked if I’d talked to Bob lately and that things weren’t going well. I spoke with Bob and could tell he was down, but I didn’t think things were too bad.”

Although the dealer didn’t see any red flags during that call, a short time later, Bob told John that he thought about “ending things and being done.”

A year before this all happened, an agent with the local extension office happened to stop by the dealer’s farm. He was there to talk about mental health on the farm and to provide resources. Because of that visit, the dealer knew exactly what to do when John asked for advice and called the extension agency.

 

 

The extension agent was able to have a conversation with Bob. He provided Bob with what he needed most – hope.

“After going through that, in hindsight, I understand some of the signs better,” said the dealer. “This made me realize this needs to be talked about more. If something had happened to Bob, I would have had to live with that for the rest of my life. If you can save somebody from being that far gone, it is worth having that conversation, especially when there are resources out there we can tap into.”

The best thing you can do to help someone under stress?

“Talk about it,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to talk. I still say that is the biggest thing as far as stress goes for anybody. You have to have that conversation and not be afraid to do so. And don’t shy away if someone starts having that conversation with you.”

The dealer said you need to use your common sense to tell if a person is acting differently or has extreme mood swings. He says it is important to be honest with yourself when you notice changes in someone’s behavior or mood.

“If we see somebody struggling, it’s important to have a conversation with them,” he said. “You have to let your faith guide you. As a salesman, you have to remember it is about helping people at the end of the day – not just making money.”

Remember, farming takes hope.

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Author: Ashley Heyen

Categories: CropTalk, 2020

Tags: CropTalk, farming takes hope

Ashley Heyen
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