Behavioral Health Planning: A Key to Farming in the Era of COVID-19
Summary: COVID-19 adds new uncertainties to farming on top of a five-year or longer economic recession in most sectors of agriculture. Like climate shifts, tariffs, and disease outbreaks in crops and livestock, COVID-19 is largely beyond the control of agricultural producers. Importantly however, we can mostly control how we behave. Agricultural producers will learn how to develop plans for minimizing infections of the virus, set up arrangements for access to necessary inputs such as equipment and repairs, contracts for a labor force and transportation, and where to become knowledgeable about federal and state assistance programs.
Intended Audience: farmers, ranchers, agricultural workers, and others who serve the agricultural community, including Extension personnel, healthcare workers, and public officials.
- Webinar participants will learn how the behavioral health of agricultural producers differs from the non-farm population, particularly during this era of COVID-19;
- The participants will learn how to develop behavior coping plans within their families and with employees;
- The participants will learn about daily behavioral management practices, including sleep, family talking sessions, physical affirmations that produce relaxation and comfort, diet, and maintaining affiliation along with physical distancing;
- How to build a support network of needed expertise while minimizing exposure to COVID-19.
Michael R. Rosmann, Ph.D.
Psychologist/Farmer, Adjunct Professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa
Michael Rosmann is a farmer and psychologist at Harlan, Iowa. He obtained his BA in psychology from the University of Colorado and his MS and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Utah. His professional work has contributed to the understanding of why people farm, their behavioral health, and why suicide is unusually common among farmers. The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network program that is being implemented by the USDA as part of the 2018 Farm Bill is largely based on the work he and colleagues undertook for four decades. Dr. Rosmann often contributes to national and international media, such as NPR, CNN, the Guardian, The New Republic, Time Magazine, and many farming periodicals about agricultural behavioral health, and now COVID-19.