Author: Michael Rosmann

Everybody, Farmers Included, Does Things MacGyver Would NOT Do…

We all do stupid things we wish we could erase.  There, you are forgiven by me, even if you won’t forget or fully forgive yourself for stupid things you’ve done. Almost four years ago I wrote a column inspired by the unorthodox television character, MacGyver, about what he would do in various predicaments, drawing on farmers’ and my own experiences.  Apparently the article struck a chord with readers, for many folks contacted me afterwards to relate their MacGyver experiences, both positive and negative. What “MacGyver-wouldn’t-do-incidents” deserve equal time, don’t you think?  Several farmers, friends, and I have endured a...

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People Who Serve Farmers, Others, Need Emotional Support Too

“Compassion fatigue” describes how providers of services to people going through disasters feel when they become weary of assisting the persons affected by traumas of any type.  Although this year is not a disaster for many agricultural producers, it is shaping up to be more challenging than for several years for some farmers, and for the people who provide support services to distressed farmers and disaster victims. Drought, too much rain, hurricanes, volatile commodity prices, and uncertain financial outcomes this growing year are major concerns.  I’ve been hearing from agency officials who serve farmers and storm victims in one...

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Behavioral Health Management is an Important Part of Farm Safety

The annual presidential proclamation for National Farm Safety and Health Week isn’t just for farmers, it’s for everyone. Other persons besides farm residents and employees should pay attention to agricultural safety and health too, such as drivers on rural roads, ATV operators in rural areas, hunters, applicators of farm chemicals, and the providers of healthcare to the agricultural population.  For that matter, everyone who consumes agricultural products has a stake in agricultural safety and health.             When the National Safety Council urged President Franklin D. Roosevelt to declare the first National Farm Safety Week...

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One Word Sums Up American Farmers: Generosity

This past summer, two neighboring farmers knocked on the door of our farmhouse which Marilyn and I share.  “Would it be alright,” one of them asked, “if two elves showed up someday to turn your woodpile into firewood?” I didn’t know what to say and it took me a few seconds to respond, “Only if you keep what you need for yourselves.  It’s a huge pile,” I added, as I considered the ten-foot high pile of well-seasoned elm, oak, ash and mulberry logs that have accumulated over years of trimming trees and cleaning up after storm damage.    “We...

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Agricultural Disasters of all Types Require Coping With Stress

The current drought in about a third of America’s most productive agricultural regions, and too much rain in other areas, are sparking stress and concerns about the emotional wellbeing of producers, even though there are more forms of economic assistance to farmers and ranchers available through the USDA than previously.  Fortunately, many parts of the country that suffered from multi-year drought aren’t affected as much this growing season as in recent years. Drought, actually—all disasters, are hard to predict, and their effects on agricultural producers as well.  As last week’s article indicated, the available crop and livestock insurance protections...

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