Stressed Farmers: ‘Don’t Wait For A Crisis’

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“Don’t wait for a crisis before you start taking care of yourself,” featured speaker Adrienne DeSutter said to a room full of farm families at the “Faith, Family, Friends, Farmers & Future” event hosted by Cross Over Ministries and the Montgomery County Farm Bureau on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Butler Community Center.

The event focussed on sharing ways that farm families can handle the stress in their occupation.  DeSutter, a Knox County farm wife with a masters degree in counseling who now advocates for farmers’ mental health, told those present that farmers suffer higher-than-average levels of stress, depression, substance use and suicide.

“I’m not happy we have to have these conversations, but I’m happy we’re ready to,” the speaker said before teaching her audience how to recognize signs of a possible crisis, specifically in agriculture.

The event also featured a farm-themed parody video, Annette Blankenship led a dance before she and Dawn Young shared farm humor, and Pastor Stefan Munker of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hillsboro led a devotion based on the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

“My friends, Jesus knows that we have worries, but Jesus does not want these worries to overwhelm us,” the pastor said.

Dinner was provided by Milanos Catering, and Montgomery County Farm Bureau Manager Katie Wilson was master of ceremonies.  The program ended with Linda Liebscher describing the mission of Cross Over Ministries and members of the ministries sharing their connections.

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