It’s true that most farmers and ranchers, their spouses and children often put their own wants and needs aside for the benefit of the farm or ranch.  After all, there is a crop to get in the ground, cows to calve and irrigation water to change.  All of these tasks are important and often depend on our diligence and ability to complete them effectively and quickly.
While this nose-against-the-grindstone attitude is usually what those of us in agricultural are known for; it’s not always a trait that is beneficial to us.  When your wants and needs, and those of your family, are put to the side too often at the expense of farm or ranch work it takes a toll on everyone’s mental and physical health and safety.
During the Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention there will be two workshops covering these exact topics.

First, we’ll hear from Carolyn Sheridan, Founder of the Ag Health and Safety Alliance.  Carolyn grew up on a dairy farm in Northwest Iowa and continues to farm with her husband in the same area. As a registered nurse, she received specialized Agricultural Health and Safety training that helped her understand the hazards associated with farming, ranching and all types of agriculture.
For much of her career Carolyn has worked in the Ag health and safety profession to protect farmers and their families. Protecting the next generation of agriculture has always been a passion of hers which motivated her to develop fun and interactive programs for the next generations of agriculture.

MSU Extension will be on hand to discuss mental health resources for rural Montanans on Monday, November 13.  Sandy Bailey, Professor & Family & Human Development Extension Specialist at Montana State University began working on the delivery of mental health resources as County Extension Agents are increasingly called upon for information to address depression and suicide in their counties. In the past two years she has been working with the MSU Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery to find research-based educational programs that can be delivered through County Extension Agents.
MSU Extension, the MSU Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery, and faculty in the MSU Department of Health and Human Developed partnered to deliver research-based mental health programming to rural Montana. Currently, three programs are being offered across Montana – Mental Health First Aid, Youth Aware of Mental Health, and THRIVE, a computerized cognitive behavioral therapy program for adults. This session will explain the programs and how to access them highlighting THRIVE, a program designed to assist individuals who are experiencing depression and stress by focusing on changing behaviors, communication style and thinking patterns. MSU is conducting a study to assess the effectiveness of THRIVE targeting those living in rural areas. An explanation and demonstration of THRIVE and how interested individuals can participate in the current study will be shared.
At MFBF, we care deeply about the protection and preservation of Montana’s farm and ranch families.  That includes your health and well-being.  These topics are an important component to ensuring long, health lifestyles and continued opportunity for the next generation to thrive in rural Montana.
If you missed the deadline to pre-register for Convention, there’s still time!  Call 587-3153 or email to register today!