Farm Stress Management

Resources for farmers and their families who are dealing with financial stress, legal issues, or mental health concerns.

Farm Stress Management

Farm families are the backbone of America, providing important commodities like food, grains, and they are a significant component of our national economy. Having healthy farms and healthy farm families promotes environmental stewardship, cultural legacies, and rural community growth.

But farm families are feeling the pressure of an inconsistent and unreliable economy. Finances, legal issues, and physical and mental well-being are all at the forefront of agricultural concerns. Farmers have been forced to parcel off their land, file for bankruptcy, deny their children inherency rights, and take secondary jobs off the farm to provide health insurance and supplemental income to make ends meet.

These stressors can lead to mental and emotional distress, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and even suicide.

Because of the critical role of farmers in our state and across the nation, the University of Maryland Extension has prepared this selection of assets to help farm families navigate the numerous resources available online and provide timely, science-based education and information to support prosperous farms and healthy farm families.

Choose from Financial Resources, Stress Management or Legal Resources to find a variety of online information, guides, and tools developed to help in each of these areas. As more tools are developed, these pages will be updated to reflect current information and serve as a support for highlighting future workshops and programming.

Learn more about UM Extension's work in cooperation with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension in their publication Farm and Farm Family Risk and Resilience Guide to Extension Educational Programming, as well as other resources in their agribusiness toolkit.

Featured

Stress and the Planting Season

May is Mental Health Awareness month and we are featuring articles and videos by our dedicated team of experts, working to provide farmers and their families with strategies and solutions to stay resilient and sustainable.

Read the first article, "Stress and the Planting Season" by Shannon Dill and Bonnie Braun, published in the Delmarva Farmer on May 5, 2021.

Read the full article

Handling Stress on the Farm

Dr. Norman B. Epstein, Professor of Family Science at University of Maryland College Park, discusses how to handle stress in the farm-life.

Watch the full video

Breakup With Burnout

Learn about ways to combat burnout in this video from Family and Consumer Sciences senior agent Dhruti Patel.

Watch the full video

Family Routines for Mental Health

Maintaining routines in your household can help to improve the mental health and well-being of the children, and adults, at home. Learn about building routines and making them stick with Alex Chan, Mental and Behavioral Health Specialist.

Watch the Video

Managing Stress While on the Farm

Farming is a demanding and stressful occupation due to its ongoing challenges and uncertainties. Learn tips on managing stress in this article by agent Emily Zobel from the Delmarva Farmer, published May 7, 2021.

Read the full article

Nutrition and Mental Health

Learn about mindful eating habits and how they can benefit your mental health as well as your physical health, with nutrition educator Erin Jewell.

Watch the video

Opioid Use on the Farm

Jeanette Jeffrey, agent with Extension's Family and Consumer Sciences program, gives us a breakdown on opioid use on the farm and how pain management can quickly become an issue for farmers and agricultural workers. Read the full article published in the Delmarva Farmer, May 14, 2021.

Read the article

Healthy Relationships

Relationships can affect our mental health. Learn more with mental and behavioral health specialist Alex Chan, as he discusses tips for maintaining a healthy partnership.

Watch the video

Stress Experienced By Children

Amy Rhodes, senior 4-H educator, explains how children experience stress, and provides tips on helping kids through stressful times. 

Watch the full video

Saying No

Join Alex Chan as he discusses how to say "no" and what that means for our mental health.

Watch the video

Prevent Burnout by Compassionate Productivity

Watch this short video from educator Dhruti Patel to learn about compassionate productivity - what it is and how it can help you prevent burnout.

Watch the video

It's On Us to Check On Each Other

The Delmarva Farmer newspaper worked with UME throughout Mental Health Awareness month to publish our work on farm stress management. In response, they created an editorial about maintaining healthy relationships in our rural communities.

Read the full editorial