Connecting Gate to Plate Blog

Stress management tools for the humans of agriculture

Stress in agriculture

Weather. Changing markets. Lost contracts. Working with family. Paperwork. Consumers questioning practices. Increased regulations. The chronic stressors in agriculture are prevalent and 2021 bring a whole new level of uncertainty and overwhelm. That’s why I’m livestreaming conversations about stress management tools to celebrate National Ag Week in 2021. I believe the best people in the world weave the fabric of agriculture, and I want to be a part of equipping them with tools to combat stress during the pandemic and beyond.

Five wonderful people with lived experience, across multiple generations and states, are joining me at noon each day. You can see the entire series at, with practical tips on nutrition, medication, resiliency, family business communications, and exercise.

Monday, 3/22

Sarah Thomas: A former State FFA President from North Carolina, this senior at Virginia Tech opens up about her battle with anxiety and depression. Sarah will share what she learned growing up as a dairy kid, what it’s like to be a young person with mental health challenges, and why medication matters. Sarah will shine a light on why it’s critical for the next generation to have the tough conversations about mental health in agriculture.

Tuesday, 3/23

Jolene Brown: Family can be one of the great stressors on farms and in agribusiness. How can family members do a better job of supporting each other in this challenging business environment and improve their communication? Jolene is an internationally renowned speaker and farmer from Iowa who brings practical tools to reduce your family business stress from her real-life experience and consulting with hundreds of farm families. 

Wednesday, 3/24

Kathryn Martinez: The importance of nutrition and our relationship with food is critical to managing stress. Kathryn Martinez is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Texas passionate about why nutrition matters in our mental and emotional well-being. She’s bringing the science that proves why eating well can help with better decision-making, tidbits to help make great food choices even when you’re really busy, and why ice cream is wonderful. 

Thursday, 3/25

Eliz Greene: Living in overwhelm and uncertainty? Eliz Greene is author of the new Stress-Proof Your Life book and shares research on chronic high stress and its resulting health consequences. This heart-attack survivor and mom of twins brings a realistic look at combatting the paralyzing loop of anxiety that often comes with uncertainty, with ways to offset the physical impact of stress and cultivate resiliency. 

Friday, 3/26

Jason Medows: This pharmacist rancher runner will talk about how both medication and exercise plays an important role in managing day-to-day stress. Jason has a cow-calf herd and yoga studio in Missouri, and hosts of Ag State of Mind podcast. He found exercise to be key in managing stress as an answer to improve his own mental health and highlights ways to integrate exercise in your schedule – even during calving, planting, and harvesting. 

Let’s do a better job of caring for the humans of agriculture as we celebrate National Ag Week!

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