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Episode 8: Recognize, Persuade, Refer: The Three Most Important Words You Need to Know When It Comes to Mental Health with Guests Nathan Brown and Sarah Noggle

“This is something that needs to be talked about more. There is such a stigma that surrounds it.”

Those were the words said to Nathan Brown after giving one of his first speeches to an unassuming crowd about an otherwise generally avoided topic: mental health.

Nathan, an Ohio farmer and Ohio Farm Bureau trustee, wasn’t sure exactly how his presentation about anxiety, stress and depression would be received. But with a glance across the seated crowd, he vividly recalls seeing many heads lower and one woman in particular crying.

That same woman later approached him and thanked him.

This is just one of the many personal experiences Nathan Brown and Sarah Noggle, mental health advocates for the agriculture industry, share about mental health in this episode of AgCredit Said It.

“It’s a hard subject to talk about, but it’s one that needs to be brought up,” says Sarah, an educator with The Ohio State University Extension.

Between the ever-changing weather, navigating market price fluctuations, and staying atop policy shifts, producers have a challenging job. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic disruptions have all contributed to producers’ increased stress and anxiety.

Not only are producers no strangers to hard times, but they’re also conceptually taught to be “tough,” and as a result, reluctant to seek help.

Connecting others to help

Nathan and Sarah both agree that connecting producers with the appropriate resources is just one important piece in helping fellow farmers cope with stress and anxiety.

Sarah explains that warning signs, like changes in the upkeep of the farm or even a calmer farmer that is suddenly more agitated, are just a few of the red flags that might signal heightened depression, anxiety or stress.

When you can recognize when someone may be having issues, persuade them to seek help, and refer them to the right resources, you can be a stepping stone to getting that person the help they need, says Sarah.

Identifying when someone may need help can be tricky, though. Sarah recommends these mental health trainings to help you learn how to identify the particular warning signs:

Nathan strongly encourages ag professionals such as lenders or equipment dealers to equip themselves with mental health training. Interacting with farmers on a regular basis gives them a unique link to getting them the help they may need.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [03:25] Mental health can be an uncomfortable topic, but it’s a conversation more producers and agricultural businesses are bringing to the forefront.
  • [8:58] Agriculture is a high-risk, high-reward industry. Learning how to cope with daily stressors is key.
  • [11:37] Even though mental health is something that affects everyone, mental health instances within agriculture, such as the suicide rate, are higher than ever before.
  • [16:30] Social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to mental health. On one hand, producers can connect and confide in a support network. On the other hand, producers may fall short comparing themselves against their neighbor farmers.
  • [19:03] Identifying when someone may need help can be tricky. There are several good short pieces of training available, three of those being QPR Training, Mental Health First Aid and Weathering the Storm.
  • [27:33] It’s highly recommended that those who interact with farmers on a regular basis, such as ag lenders and equipment dealers, go through training to recognize the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • [29:32] In seeking help for yourself, reaching out to your support network and finding the right resources are great first steps. Ohio State Extension’s Farm Stress and Farm Credit’s Rural Resilience programs are two helpful resources. 

Additional Resources:
National Suicide Hotline, 800-273-8255
Iowa Concern Line, 800-447-1985, iowaconcern@iastate.edu
County by County Resource Guide, https://u.osu.edu/cphp/ohio-mental-health-resource-guides/
Ohio State Extension Farm Stress Website, http://u.osu.edu/farmstress
Rural Resilience, https://farmcredit.com/rural-resilience
QPR Training, https://qprinstitute.com/

Connect with Sarah:
Twitter @PauldingOSU
Facebook @PauldingCountyExtension

Connect with Nathan:
Instagram @brownfarms04

Connect with AgCredit :
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/agcredit
Twitter https://twitter.com/agcredit
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/agcreditaca/

Share questions and topic ideas with us:
Email podcast@agcredit.net

Bios

Guest Nathan Brown

Nathan is a farmer in Highland County where he live with his wife and three children live. He is a first generation farmer, farming over 1,000 acres. He is passionate about advocating for mental health as it has affected him personally and professionally. Nathan is heavily involved in Ohio Farm Bureau and enjoys working with members across the state of Ohio.

Guest Sarah Noggle

Sarah has worked as an OSU Extension Agent for over seven years, specializing in farm stress and mental health. She currently farms in Paulding and Van Wert counties with her two children. Sarah is an alumnus of The Ohio State University and previously was Matt’s high school ag teacher.

Host Matt Adams

Matt serves Paulding County as an account officer at AgCredit. He has worked in ag lending for over three years and previously worked in farm equipment sales for 11 years. He and his wife farm in northwest Ohio with their two daughters and son. His favorite part about AgCredit is the people. From the member-borrowers to the internal team at AgCredit, every day keeps getting better. Matt hopes to bring insights to ag lending and some laughs to the AgCredit Said It podcast.

Host Brenna Finnegan

Brenna has been an account officer serving Lorain County for three years. She’s worked in the agricultural industry for over 16 years with experience in livestock production, specialty crop production, seed production and processing/distribution. She grew up on a small family farm raising row crops and cattle. She currently has her own herd of beef cattle that she breeds and sells as show stock calves for 4-H and FFA members. At AgCredit, Brenna enjoys being able to work directly with the local farmers and especially helping young farmers achieve something that they didn’t think they could.

 

Transcription

Voiceover (00:02):Welcome to AgCredit Said It, the podcast for farm newbies and seasoned professionals alike. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from across the agriculture industry to bring you insights, advice, and must have information on all things rural living, from farming to finances and everything in between. Let's get to it.

Matt Adams (00:27):Welcome back to AgCredit Said It, Matt and Brenna here and we're hitting a topic that's a little deep today, and that is mental health. This is something that has had more awareness brought to it in the past couple years, but I don't think we can talk about it enough. We've unfortunately seen some things affect our local community due to mental health issues, and we hope we can help get some more information out there to help.

Brenna Finnegan (00:52):We have two guests with us today, Nathan Brown, who farms in Highland County and is a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. We also have Sarah Noggle, Ohio State University educator here in Paulding County. Welcome to you both.

Nathan Brown (01:08):Thanks for having us today.

Sarah Noggle (01:09):Thanks.

Brenna Finnegan (01:10):Before we get into it, can you both tell us about your involvement in agriculture and all of that?

Matt Adams (01:19):Kind of give a little bit your back story, I guess.

Nathan Brown (01:21):Well, I guess I can go first. Again, I'm Nathan Brown. I do farm in Highland County. First generation farmer down there, had the opportunity to get working with a neighbor growing up through high school and had opportunities to get involved in agriculture. Today, we farm a little over a thousand acres. Married to my wife, Jennifer, going on, it'll be 20 years this coming year. We have three kids Coy, Luke, and Ella, and getting them involved very heavily in Farm Bureau and enjoy working with members across the state. This mental health topic is something that has affected me personally and professionally and I'm excited to be here to share a little light with you.

Sarah Noggle (02:08):I'm Sarah. I grew up in Paulding County. This is home for me, Northwest Ohio. I went to Ohio State and I got my degree in agriculture. Before that, I grew up on a family farm and we raised corn, soybeans, wheat, and we had a beef feedlot. Then my claim to fame is we raised dairy goats, my sister and I, and we got to show those all around the US. We had a good time with that. Then currently we farm in Paulding and Van Wert County and then I have two kids. I have a senior in high school and eighth grader, so Ethan and Delana, spend a lot of time and things with them, 4H, FFA. I work at Ohio State Extension and I've been there for the past seven years. Prior to that, I was a high school ag teacher. I was Matt's teacher.

Brenna Finnegan (02:55):We've talked about that before.

Matt Adams (02:57):She molded me from a young age, I guess. I hope harvest is, kind of this marathon of a harvest that we've been in here is kind of wrapping up for you guys. I know we're a little wet here in Paulding County yet, but we can definitely see the light at the end of the end of the tunnel, so well, great, thanks. Nathan, something you're kind of known for in the ag industry is advocating for mental health. How did you get involved in this and why is it important to you?

Nathan Brown (03:25):Mental health is something that affects us all and regardless of where you come from or who you are, you're affected by it. I guess my first dealings with mental health was dealing with my mother and even my brother, both suffering from depression, anxiety, and things growing up. I've been really involved in agriculture and just trying to better our community. In 2017-2018, it was after our Farm Bureau annual meeting, my county Farm Bureau annual meeting. We were kind of standing around talking and thinking about programming and stuff for the future years. We all three kind of brought up that we had noticed that the mood in agriculture wasn't as chipper as it was at one time. We really needed to begin to have those conversations more about mental health.

Nathan Brown (04:23):As I went around the county annual meetings that year, as part of my presentation, I brought up the thought of mental health and stress and anxiety and the things that are affecting agriculture. The response that I got from that really took me back. I wasn't exactly sure how that conversation would go. I knew that as I was up there, I remember one lady very vividly as I was up there giving my speech that I just see the tears come to her eyes and she came up after the meeting and said, "Thank you," she said, "this is something that needs to be talked about more, there is such a stigma that surrounds it." I knew at that point in time that it was a conversation that needed to be started and it was something that most people didn't want to talk about. It's too uncomfortable.

Brenna Finnegan (05:18):I never thought about giving the speech and potentially looking across the crowd and seeing how many heads go down or whatnot when you're actually standing up there. I'm sure it was kind of enlightening to see.

Nathan Brown (05:30):Oh yeah. When you're at a county annual meeting as a Farm Bureau trustee I go to my four county annual meetings and we give a report of what the organizations do and then all the great works we're doing. Then, out of the blue, somebody starts talking about mental health. It was like that wasn't something that even Farm Bureau at the state level wasn't really looking at that point in time. To see those heads go down and to see just the looks on the faces of people that you can tell were struggling and wanted, they needed, somebody to bring it up so that they could express what they were going through.

Sarah Noggle (06:09):I think my experience just started as that high school teacher. I would see those kids because I taught high school agriculture, when things weren't great on the farm, or when things ... You would see that in those kids. I always was like, "Oh, this is something we need to pay attention to." I had the opportunity as I moved from teaching high school agriculture to OSU extension to attend a training at Michigan State in 2019. I said, "This is where I want to do this." Little did I know, I came back from that training, I was there on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I had a beekeeping school and I said, "I had a person," I shared just this, that I had went up there and I was explaining a few things about what mental health first aid is. We'll get into that maybe a little later.

Sarah Noggle (06:56):This lady came up to me and at the end and she volunteered to help tear down and I said, "thank you," on Saturday. She said, "You said something at the beginning about this mental health first aid and stress." And she said, "I have a nine millimeter gun out in my car and I wasn't coming to this class for beekeeping, but I was coming in to find a way that my family wouldn't think anything. I like to do flower gardening and those type of things." She said, "Things have been rough on our family farm." She said, "I thought that if I took my life, there would be some of that life insurance and the thing that my husband loves to do, that would continue." Little did I know that three days of training, which was ... Never prepared you, yeah-

Brenna Finnegan (07:41):Really turned into a fourth day.

Sarah Noggle (07:42):Yeah.

Brenna Finnegan (07:43):Real quick.

Sarah Noggle (07:43):Real quick. One of the things that I just, I looked and I'm like, "Oh my goodness, okay. I have to kick into action and go through these steps." Never did I, in a million years, think I'd be in that position. I received a phone call two weeks later from a daughter that said, "My mom is alive because of what you did and those steps you took." And that made it worth it all the more to me to say, "Can we talk about this?" That's been a role in our core teaching for pesticide education. Same thing with Nathan, as you look out across that crowd, and you hear people when you start to talk about this, it's a hard subject to talk about, but one that needs to be brought up.

Matt Adams (08:24):I think it is, and we were talking right before the podcast, especially for me being Paulding County, I've always felt that maybe we were a little more sheltered from a lot of the problems that you hear about, especially mental health. We grew up, something you really didn't talk about.

Brenna Finnegan (08:40):It was taboo or tabo, or whatever it's called.

Matt Adams (08:45):Exactly, and we've seen here lately affecting the younger generation some, but in your guys' mind, what effects does mental health have and what's driving mental health in agriculture?

Nathan Brown (08:58):Well, back to your point of, you think that we're sheltered, mental health affects us all. We all have stress in our daily lives. It's all about trying to learn to cope with those stresses. How do you deal with that? How do you deal with your emotions and your feelings and stuff. To say that we're sheltered, that's anybody and everybody is affected. It doesn't matter whether you're in agriculture or not. We look at agriculture and why does it seem like the suicide rate in agriculture is so high and the mental health instances that we have are so high? Look at agriculture, it's a high-risk, high-reward industry.

Nathan Brown (09:45):I mean, it's all or nothing. We have changing weather climate. We have changing policies in D.C. and at the state house and navigating that and you navigate the markets. I mean, one day the markets are up 50 cents and the next day they're down 50 cents. Knowing how to be able to position your farming operation in a place where you can continue to be successful is challenging sometimes. Knowing what the right decisions are, because there is no, I mean, as much as we think there's a rule book, there is no rule book to what's happening. As human beings, we all also like to compare ourselves against what the neighbors got and what the neighbors do.

Nathan Brown (10:35):I sent a text to a good friend of mine right before Thanksgiving, or, well, I guess it was on Thanksgiving Day. Somebody that I really look up to and somebody that's a very large operator in our area and just, he's a wonderful family, wonderful friend I just was thanking him for being the person that he is. He sent me a text back that just ... He told me, he's like, he said, "I look up to you so much from what you've been able to accomplish." I look at myself, I only farm 1,000 acres and whatever else, but then at the end of the day, I started with nothing. I have grown a successful farming operation, and I am involved in bookoos of things. It's hard for me to sometimes say "I'm successful." And no matter where our farming operations are, we are all successful, but it's hard for us to get that in our own head sometimes.

Sarah Noggle (11:37):I think we talk with Dr. Michael Rossman and he goes through this thing called the Agrarian Imperative. As you talk through that, these farms, you want them to continue no matter what. Losing that farm is a threat that we think of and is it losing, “Oh, I should have sold at this price and now I sold at this.” Even if it's 10 cents and sometimes you're beating yourself up on the inside when you see those things. As we talk about that, Nathan shared a little bit of stress is a good thing, but when you start to look at all the things that are coming at you in today's age that I don't think we saw so many of those things back when our grandparents were around in farming and they didn't have those extra stresses. I think it is, it's keeping up with the Joneses, I want this certain lifestyle. Once you get that when prices are high and good, okay, but now I have to keep up with that and you're not ready for those years where things aren't as good.

Matt Adams (12:37):I kind of look at it too. I'm same as Nathan. I started, I'm a first generation farmer, started from nothing and built an operation. I look at the stress that we, as first generation farmers, carry where every decision I make is affecting me and can I continue this for the next year? Is this decision right? I look at the multi-generational farms and I feel for those guys where if they have an off year, "I don't want to lose what dad built. I don't want to lose what grandpa built." I think that's just an added load that those guys carry. It's that kind of family, “I don't want to let everybody down because now the keys are tossed to me” type thing. Now, you guys see this happening more. What age group do you guys think that it's really affecting? I mean, is it our younger generation, is it our older generation?

Sarah Noggle (13:36):I don't think it picks and chooses. I think it's every generation. I think sometimes it's, I see it when you start to talk about transitioning the farm, whether it's that older generation, how do I pass this on? Or maybe I don't have any heirs to pass my farm onto.

Brenna Finnegan (13:51):Or, how do I choose which one?

Sarah Noggle (13:53):Yes. There's only so many pieces in the pie that you can dish out. So, oh, okay, I'm going to choose this child over this one where maybe they're both there. I think those are added stresses that I think we see sometimes coming up, but I also see that younger generation, like "Am I making the right decision?" It's just a lack of knowledge sometimes. I don't even know what the next step is. There's not necessarily an education on like, well, how do I do that? Or what's in this farm bill? Or how do I do that paperwork? Everything's just changed so much that there's just lots of loops and hoops to jump through all the time. One day, you're working on paperwork and then next day you're out planting. I think it's just, it's hard to manage all that. It's hard to have someone else step in and do that for you, too.

Nathan Brown (14:46):Yeah. You're very right there. One thing when you look at the demographic that makes up agriculture, we do have an older population. A lot of the time, those conversations will come up, at least in my experiences here lately, it has been the older generation that is struggling more. Those are our main operators today. The kids, the 20, 30, even 40 year olds may still have a farm job. Dad's trying to figure out how he's going to transition the farm to the next generation or whatever. We have to be mindful of what our demographic of farmer makeup is across the industry too.

Matt Adams (15:34):I kind of look at it too, do you guys think social media plays a part in the added stress and mental health? I mean, I can look at it, especially we talked about, especially the younger generation asking questions. You'll see some young producer put on, "Hey, just bought this tractor." Or, "I'm planning this." And you'll see a hundred comments just either good or bad to that.

Brenna Finnegan (16:00):What's the number of likes?

Matt Young (16:02):Yeah.

Brenna Finnegan (16:02):How many likes you got. And it's like, I got to hit the hundred, I got to hit, or whatever it is. It's going back to your comment of keeping up with the Joneses. You see so and so ... I would say probably the older generation see somebody driving past in a newer piece of equipment or whatever it is, but then like-

Matt Adams (16:17):They will make that comment, but it's to themselves where if we do it on social media now, which there's so many great things on social media, but I think it adds that extra, I don't know. I guess you have to learn how to navigate it a little bit.

Nathan Brown (16:30):No, I think you're right. It does add to the stress because like you say, "I bought a new tractor. Here it is. Y'all look at it. Y'all need to praise me and talk me up because I want to feel good about it." But then, on the other hand, social media has been a place where I have been able to start this conversation, have this conversation about mental health, and it has allowed me to put together a network. I have a network of, there's five good friends of mine. One actually lives in the Northern part of Ohio. I have a good friend that lives in southern Missouri, another one lives in Nebraska, another one that lives in Wisconsin. We're on a group chat that when things are going south for one of us, we'd throw it up there and we're be able to connect and share. We have that support network that we need. If it wasn't for social media, we wouldn't have that. There's been other places where those conversations have started because of social media.

Brenna Finnegan (17:37):Well, it's probably being able to talk to somebody without actually, because sometimes I think it's harder to talk to somebody face to face than it is, I mean, how much easier is it to put how you really feel in a text message and send it to somebody and be like, "Oh, I can't reel that sucker back in." Or whatever. It's just kind of, I could see that being, how often do you see them?

Nathan Brown (17:59):Only one of them I've actually met in person, and the rest of them I've not met in person.

Brenna Finnegan (18:04):But you're still really good friends with them and you can share whatever is going on.

Nathan Brown (18:11):Yes.

Brenna Finnegan (18:11):There's no judgment because of that.

Nathan Brown (18:13):No judgment of that. Yeah, and that's-

Nathan Brown (18:15):In our daily lives, I mean, we're all in this together, but at the end of the day, we're also all competitors. We're all trying to rent ground or we're trying to buy ground or we're trying to expand our farming operations. You may not want the neighbor to find out that, hey, I'm having an off week here or I'm having a little anxiety or even a little depression or whatever that is, because they may use that as a weapon against you to try to get something that you want or have.

Matt Adams (18:49):Kind of looking at that, with your guys' respective organizations, are there outlets out there, for example, I'm really needing somebody to talk to. I'm a young farmer. How do I start?

Sarah Noggle (19:03):I think finding that support system that you have, whether it's being able to talk, and I think you might not, depending on what level, I think when stress gets so high, you don't realize that you're in that situation where it's a chronic stress and maybe you're in trouble. I don't think you can see that from the outside. It's kind of like love is blind and so you have to be careful on that, but I think as you start to reach out, it's that network, whether it's calling a Farm Bureau member or someone in extension, it's reaching out to someone and just having a conversation saying, "Hey." Maybe it's someone. Maybe you're involved in a church or getting out and doing something. Those are things that I think we have lots of resources out there, but it's, what do I feel comfortable with? It's really scary, I think, sometimes to be able to take that step, that first step to be able to reach out. Because you have to admit to yourself that, hey, maybe I do need some help. I think it's okay.

Brenna Finnegan (20:08):Being somebody else though, how do you identify some of those signs? There's just signs to watch for in someone dealing with it.

Nathan Brown (20:13):Well, there's several good trainings out there. I started with QPR question-

Sarah Noggle (20:21):Persuade, refer.

Nathan Brown (20:22):Refer. That is a short course. It's a couple hour course that you can take that lets you identify when somebody may having issues and persuade them to seek help and to find those resources. I kind of have a little story here I can go and tell. I've told this story many times. About a year and a half ago, I had a good friend of mine call me up and it kind of was out of the - it was kind of strange because he called me up, well, it wasn't out of the blue because him and I talked quite a bit. He asked me to come over because he said his hogs had gotten out and he raises some free range hogs and I thought you never called me when they've gotten out before.

Nathan Brown (21:05):I went over there and by the time I got there and I don't live close to him, he was 10 minutes drive for me to get there. He pretty well had everything under control by the time I got there we talked and as I was pulling in the driveway, I just noticed that the farm didn't look the same. Things weren't being kept up the way they normally were. We went back and I helped him again and afterwards he was thanking me and was trying to, he was almost trying to kick me out of the farm, and something in my head triggered that QPR training that I had.

Nathan Brown (21:49):I looked at him and I said, “Brandon," I said, "what's going on?" He said, "Well, what do you mean?" I said, "No. Brandon, what's going on here?" I said, "Things are not right. This happened, this happened. I looked around here. Things are not the way you normally keep them. You seem extremely agitated. You seem extremely stressed. I know animals getting out, because I have animals myself, I mean, it's a very stressful time." But I said, "What's going on with you?" It took him a minute and it took him back when I asked him that question. We continued talking and he started opening up and he started talking about that this was going on and that was going on. He wasn't sleeping and wasn't this. I said, "I think you really need to talk to a professional." I said, "I will sit here and listen to you. My ears are open for you."

Brenna Finnegan (22:44):It's great you had the guts to even sit there and say it, because some people just don't even want to go down that avenue to where they even ask that question and open a can of worms that potentially turns into something else. The fact that you even stood there and asked those questions, that's guts. I don't want to say it's gutsy, but it is kind of gutsy to just, “What is going on here” and to be able to point it out to them.

Nathan Brown (23:07):It is very hard. It is very hard for me. I told him, I said, "I can listen to you until you don't want to talk anymore." I said, "But at the end of the day," I said, "I'm not a mental health professional. I don't have the resources other than my ears to sit here and listen to you intently on what you're saying and understand what you're saying." I said, "You really need to go make an appointment and go see a professional." He promised me when I left that night that that's what he was going to do first thing in the morning. The next morning I was concerned about him still. I drove over there and I said it was 10:30, 11 o'clock in the morning. I said "Did you make that appointment?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "Brandon," I said, "If you want me to go with you, I will go with you and I will hold your hand, whatever you need for me to do. I'll sit in the parking lot."

Nathan Brown (24:02):He had an appointment at the end of the week and he went and he called me up when he left the appointment and he said, first he said, "I want to thank you." He said, "Because I needed that more than I ever knew that I needed that." He says, "I got down there," and the facility they went to is in a very rural part of our community. He says, "I got there and got ready to pull in the driveway and I looked over and I seen a truck that I recognized." And he said, "Instantly, my foot went to the gas pedal." He says, "I drove on by." He's like, "I can't do it." He says, "I got to thinking about the things that you said." And he said, "I turned around, I went down there and parked right beside of it and walked right in." He said, "As I was walking in, they walked out with a smile on their face, said hi to me." He's like, "There's nothing to this." I mean, we make this-

Brenna Finnegan (24:51):Like going to a dentist appointment.

Nathan Brown (24:52):Yeah. I mean, we think in our heads that this is such a bad thing. That if I go do this, this is going to make me look bad. Then you get there and you realize that somebody else in your community that you respect is doing the same thing, it's not a big deal as you thought.

Matt Adams (25:10):I find it interesting. Just some of the little things you noticed at your friend's farmstead, that things not being kept up quite, just that agitation, but you never think about that. Those might be the signs that something's just really, really bothering them. They're not going to ever open up and come out and say anything to you.

Sarah Noggle (25:31):I think you watch for those changes. It's one of those signs that you can look for is like a complete change in that, whether it's the farm, whether it's, maybe it's a quieter person that's all of a sudden talking a lot or someone who's really calm that's agitated. I think those are things that whether it's going through the simple QPR training, we've got some different ones. We've got mental health first aid, which is one of those trainings, and it's a little bit longer, but it will walk you through. We make a parallel to, if you are trained in first aid, well, you know how to do certain things, maybe it's putting on a tourniquet or maybe it's how to do this, but you are that stepping stone to get that person that help.

Sarah Noggle (26:17):You are just made aware of different signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and it makes you more aware that you can look at those things. I think that's a good place, it's a good training for anyone. I mean, it's not just ag related. As we look at that parallel, when you're first aid trained and you get your little certificate, it's not like you're going to be the next surgeon and you're not going to operate or put stitches in someone. I think that's another one of the trainings, but we've got some other ones through OSU extension. One of them is called Weathering The Storm, and we partnered with Michigan State and there's quite a few, and that's a free training, and it's just, it's a simpler version. It can be done in one, two, or three hours, again, what are some of those signs, a little bit less in depth as a mental health first aid training.

Brenna Finnegan (27:10):Why do I foresee a training session for our offices coming? Because I'll say like, Matt, you and I are probably in a very unique situation to where we do go out and about just like you did, showed up at a farm, and potentially can see the changes and money is a big trigger for a lot of this stuff. I could see where it could become even worse in some situations.

Nathan Brown (27:33):Yeah. That's one thing I really advocate a lot for is people in your positions, whether you're the ag lenders or you're the FSA people or the equipment dealer, or any of those guys that have interactions with farmers on a regular basis to have those trainings, go through the QPR training. If you have time get your, get your offices together and do the mental health first aid training. I know Ohio Farm Bureau, we have had all of our staff mental health first aid trained. It's just a good tool to have in your toolbox that when you're out servicing loans or whatever, and you see things are starting to go sideways that let's find out what the real true cause is. Because you guys, at the end of the day, don't want to foreclose on somebody. You guys don't want to pull your notes. You guys want these people to get the help that they need. If it's something that can be prevented, a step that can be taken ahead of time to get them that help, everybody wins in the end.

Matt Adams (28:44):I think that's great advice. I know just from talking to some of our older account officers within even our cooperative that went through and a lot of them will bring up the stress that we had in agriculture in the 80s. Some of the very tough times that they dealt with with members then, wishing that they had some of that training or the resources we do now to refer those people too. I think that's-

Brenna Finnegan (29:11):And how to identify it.

Matt Adams (29:12):And learning how to identify it. I think we now we have the tools and options out there that we can really go and try and direct people, see those signs and refer them to the help they need and kind of stay ahead of it a little bit.

Sarah Noggle (29:32):I think we also have, we worked with the College of Public Health through OSU Extension, and sometimes you don't even know where to reach out in your community like, okay, what is it that I need help with? I don't even have a clue where to call. We have a county by county guide that will share what are those resources in your local county? That's one of those things. We actually have a new website through OSU Extension, and it's just u.osu.edu/farmstress. It will link to all of these resources. There's some great ones through Farm Bureau. There's some through Ohio Department of Agriculture and they're all linked there. We're just trying to make that a clearing house for what are some of the resources that are out there. If I'm not willing to talk to someone, can I find some of this and look at a little bit of self-help sometimes?

Matt Adams (30:21):We'll put all these links on our webpage for anybody listening to look up and get more information.

Brenna Finnegan (30:27):Yep. You can always come into your Ag Credit office as well. I mean, we are not a therapist or anything like that, but we can at least sit down and have a conversation with you and potentially put you in the right direction to seek that help and get something going for yourself. We can sit down and have a conversation in our offices. I mean, our doors close, so nobody has to know and all that kind of stuff if need be.

Matt Adams (30:55):The farm credit system also has a program called Rural Resilience. It's a free program focused on mental health and stress management. A link to that program, as well as the other resource we talked about today will be available in the show notes. I want to thank Nathan and Sarah again for joining us. If you guys have any questions, feel free to reach out to them on social media. We'll talk to you next time.

Nathan Brown (31:20):Thank you guys.

Voiceover (31:23):Thank you for listening to Ag Credit Setting. Want to talk ag in between episodes? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at Ag Credit. For more tips and resources, visit agcredit.net, and be sure to subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Catch you next time.