Author: Michael Rosmann

What Are We Thankful For?

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Tis the season to take stock of what is going on in our lives and outside our circles of friends and activities. Here are just a few things I am particularly grateful for this year, besides still being upright (Preferably, I’m upright in more than a vertical sense) and above the grass. For at least the hundredth time I told Marilyn I have discovered my real purposes in our marriage: to shut off the lights she leaves on, to close the doors and drawers she leaves open, and to help her keep...

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Veterans Often Reintegrate To Rural And Agricultural Settings

Military veterans often choose to live in rural areas and to pursue agricultural careers after they retire from military duty. This trend is advancing, for reasons which this article explores. A disproportionately high percentage of military enlistees originate from rural backgrounds, about 44 percent, even though the Federal Government says about 17 percent of all Americans reside in areas defined as rural by the Office of Management and Budget. When soldiers retire from the military they often want to live in rural locations and many wish to pursue agricultural careers. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Rural Health says 5.3 million of the 22 million Veterans nationwide in 2015 (24%) identified themselves as “rural.” In a June 2016 article the USDA reported that about a quarter million rural Veterans farm and many more have an interest in agriculture but don’t know how to get started. Why do Veterans want to become involved in agriculture? Many persons leaving the Military originate from rural areas and want to return to their roots. They hope to reintegrate with their communities, and that may include farming. A 2015 unpublished study of rural Veterans who undertook agricultural occupations reports improvements in their physical and mental health, sleep patterns, nutrition, exercise, and decreases in pain, anxiety, depression, medication use, and substance use. The study used self-report and objective measures of physical and behavioral health....

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Preparation Affects Marriage Success, Especially Among Farmers

The divorce rate of married couples in the U.S. has been declining for the past 25 years and reducing even faster during the past decade. As last week’s article reported, the people involved in farming have fewer divorces than the general population, even though agriculture is among the most stressful occupations. Today we look at marriage preparation courses and how they influence couples’ marriages, drawing on research about couples in general, and farm couples in particular. Couples who engage in farming and related agricultural careers have similarities, but also unique characteristics that warrant consideration. Do preparation courses offered by churches help couples prepare for and sustain their marriages? This article is aimed at presenting research information without bias concerning religion, cohabitation and other factors considered by persons planning marriage. A study of 50 marriage preparation courses by Brigham Young University professor Alan Hawkins found that course participants said pre-marriage programs improved communication skills but didn’t affect the quality of their relationships. Some religious denominations, such as the Latter Day Saints and Roman Catholics, discourage sex and cohabitation prior to marriage, and encourage completion of pre-marriage courses that teach their church doctrine and family life values to persons planning to marry. Couples who affiliate with these two religions have somewhat lower divorce rates than the general U.S. population. The divorce rates for members of most Protestant, Jewish and Islamic faiths...

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Human, Animal And Environmental Health Interconnect In One Welfare

In late September the first International One Welfare Conference convened in Winnipeg, Canada. About 250 farmers, veterinarians, psychologists, social workers, physicians, scientists and academicians in these and related disciplines, government officials, students, and reporters from several countries gathered to consider how humans, animals, and sometimes other organisms interconnect behaviorally. The conference took a comprehensive look at how humans and animals in particular mutually influence the behavioral well-being of one another. The conference featured ways that veterinarians and human behavioral healthcare professionals can assist each other. Why One Welfare? Well, humans, animals and sometimes other inhabitants of our environments not...

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Depression Can Be Difficult For Spouses Too

Living with a marriage partner who is depressed can be taxing on the non-depressed person as well as on the symptom bearer. It can also be an opportunity for both partners to make themselves better persons and to deepen their love for each other as they become competent together at managing depression. Depression is tough on the melancholy person and usually a burden for those around him or her. None want the ordeal of this behavioral disorder; all want to function optimally. Anger is common for the depressed person’s partner, mainly at the malady rather than at the partner. Spouses become tired of trying to lift up their “down” partner, frustrated by a lack of intimacy (sometimes it’s about inadequate physical intimacy, but more often it’s that depression takes priority over their own welfare) and they feel overwhelmed with more than their fair share of responsibilities for the household, and any children in the domicile. Neither partner wants to feel this way. The depressed partner often feels guilty about difficulty handling responsibilities that are easily managed when not depressed and uncertainty where their relationship is headed. Both partners desire to solve the dilemmas and both hope to move ahead as individuals and as a couple. Depression varies in its causes and the degree of difficulty for every depressed spouse and married couple. Here are some ways I recommend to...

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