Author: Michael Rosmann

Individual and Family Actions to Deal With Possible Farmer Suicide [PART 3]

There is a more common and mostly preventable cause of death among agricultural producers that isn’t occupational injuries or physical illnesses.  It is suicide, and it should be understood and handled better than it usually is currently. This is the third article in a four-part “Farm and Ranch Life” series about suicide among farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers. A farmer who purposefully ended his life recently gave many warning signs but also demanded that his family not undertake legal proceedings to obtain professional behavioral healthcare assistance or to ask for help from his family, neighbors, and any farm crises...

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Suicide and Farmers: Indicators Everyone Should Be Aware of [PART 2]

A farmer ended his life by suicide recently, which raised questions about his and other farmers’ self-destructive behavior. He became financially pressured over the past three “down” years, much like he experienced a dozen years ago. Now he was being forced to sell either land, livestock, or farming equipment in order to make overdue farm loan payments. The farmer forbade his wife and their children—all adults, to contact legal authorities to require him to seek professional behavioral healthcare. He refused to share his economic and emotional plight with his siblings, his mother (his father is deceased), and neighboring farmers....

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Suicide By Farmers Continues To Be An Unresolved Problem [PART 1]

Suicide in the agricultural workplace is more likely than in any other United States’ occupational workplace for which there are data, according to Dr. Wendy Ringgenberg and her coauthors in an article in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Rural Health. The analysis, which is Dr. Ringgenberg’s doctoral dissertation, draws on data collected annually by the U.S. Department of Labor. Entitled “Trends and Characteristics of Occupational Suicide in Farmers and Agricultural Workers, 1992-2010,” her findings are consistent with similar conclusions derived from other sources of systematically collected information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

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High School, USA: Is The Quality of Secondary Education Declining in Rural America?

Following a recent memorial service for a wonderful woman who farmed with her husband and contributed much to her community, I joined with several persons who shared a table for the luncheon afterwards.  They were discussing secondary school education.     Secondary school achievement test scores have declined in Iowa, according to recent news reports. I started to offer my opinion, but thought the better of it. Instead, I asked the discussion participants what contributes to lower secondary school achievement test scores than a generation ago in Iowa, a state that has often been heralded as one with some...

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Does Dowsing For Graves and Water Well Sites Really Work?

A few years ago an elderly lady and dear friend showed Marilyn and me how to find graves by dowsing.  She convinced us there is “something to it,” for we were able to detect burial sites and usually the deceased person’s gender before we discovered confirmatory evidence from decaying round-topped limestone markers or wooden crosses near the grave sites.  Some suspected graves had no available evidence to confirm or disconfirm their location and identification. Many farmers have employed dowsers, including our friend, to find locations to dig water wells.  She said she hasn’t been wrong yet–she is 85 years...

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