Rural Health

A Farmer's Toolkit for Well-being

In just 3 sessions learn how to...

1)  Understand how daily stressors impact your well-being and farming practice

2)  Use mindfulness tools to manage stress and improve health and well-being

3)  Help your community be more connected and supported


Sign up for any or all that fit your needs and schedule.


Session 1 -- LEARN -- 04/07/2022, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

This presentation will share the research on stress and discuss the unique and maybe not so unique stressors that farmers and farm families contend with. Just like our livestock, we have a physical reaction to stress. Stress itself isn’t abnormal or bad, but how you deal with it is important.  Understanding when stress turns into a chronic stress cycle can help us identify, acknowledge, and break the cycle earlier. Participants will engage in an activity to identify stressors, strengths and resources.


Session 2 -- PRACTICE -- 04/14/2022, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

This presentation will be exploring the concept of mindfulness and how you can use it to cope with stress, helping you to identify moments in life where you have been present (mindful), learn about the connections between the brain and the body, and take away some skills that can be used on a regular basis to reduce stress. You can make your farming operation better and safer for all by learning what you can do to be better prepared to handle stress.


Session 3 -- CHANGE -- 04/21/2022, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

This presentation will utilize a training called COMET (changing our mental and emotional trajectory). This training will help encourage and empower you to be the person that helps change the trajectory towards wellness for others. It's intended to feel as natural as a casual conversation in a safe space, essentially training us to notice, to start conversations, and then hold space for that person to really share what's on their heart and mind.


Douglas County – Solon Springs Community Center

Bayfield County: EOC Annex Building

Washburn County - UW-Extension County Services Building


Session 1:  Joy Kirkpatrick has worked for the University of Wisconsin for 29 years.  She began her Extension career as a county-based educator. In 2004 she became the Farm Succession Outreach Specialist for the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability. In this position she collaborates with colleagues to provide educational programs and information on farm succession planning.  Kirkpatrick has extensive experience facilitating farm succession discussions with farm businesses and farm families. Joy is honored to work with farm families on some of their most personal issues when working on farm succession planning.  She has written articles on retirement planning for farmers and taught seminars throughout the US on farm succession facilitation. Kirkpatrick developed the Certified Farm Succession Coordinator training that has certified over 300 participants in farm succession planning. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid trainer. Kirkpatrick received both her BS and MS degrees from SIU – Carbondale.


Session 2: Alma Jorgenson grew up on a beef and small grain farm in Big Stone County, Minnesota. Her passion for rural mental health started while she was working in her local grocery store, interacting with small town residents and farmers daily. Alma left Big Stone County to study psychology and geography at Gustavus Adolphus, and worked on a family-owned dairy farm while in college. She knows the culture of farming, and the challenges it puts on families. She also knows the connections between policy, access, and meaningful care for struggling families.  Alma focuses on solution-oriented, positive interventions.


Session 3: Danette Hopke – WI Extension. Bio and photo to come.


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This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.