4 Unique Challenges for Farmers and Their Families

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Farming provides a host of products that many people in the United States require. The agriculture industry brought in approximately $1.109 trillion in 2019 alone. Many of us rely on the hard work that farmers bring to their trade.

Unfortunately, though, farmers and their families often face unique challenges. We’ll focus on a few of those challenges below.

1. Mental Health & Family Therapy

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Running a farm can be a taxing affair. In addition to the daily chores that you must tackle, you also have to deal with larger factors that can affect your farming business. Some of these specific issues include climate change, food crises, economic insecurity, and depleting reservoirs of freshwater. Such stressors can bring you to a point of just giving up, and this can trickle down to your family. This might even bring a farming family to attend family therapy counseling. Imagine having adolescent children who see you arguing with your spouse on countless occasions about farming-related issues. This can affect a child’s behavior, in some cases leading to behavioral disorders. Maybe your spouse who helps with balancing your farming ledgers can see firsthand how poorly your business is performing. This can create a change in behavior patterns as they struggle to deal with such a burden. You don’t want your family relationships to suffer because of the stress that can play havoc with your mental health, so therapy may be your best option.

The great thing is that there are many professional counselors who can help farming families tackle such mental health-related matters. Whether it’s taking care of specific issues of farming-related emotional disorders or more general mental health matters, a family therapist can assist with helping the entire family. Mental health is an issue that many farming families must deal with.

2. Injuries

Farmers understand that getting injured is a part of the job. For instance, while adding silage inoculants and hay inoculants to bales of hay, you try your best to stay safe. Sometimes, though, while performing such duties on the farm, your mind might be racing with thoughts about aerobic stability, lactic acid, fermentation, increasing feed intake, and mold prevention methods. In those off times that you lose your focus, or even when you are maintaining your focus on your farming tasks, you can get injured.

Working on any number of farming projects brings a considerable risk of injury for you or any of your family members who work with you. Some of the more common farming-related injuries include falls, exposure to toxic chemicals, suffocation, and even heat stress. For instance, when you’re working with chemicals that are found in your use of silage inoculants you’ll need to be as safe as possible. You’ll be dealing with a solution that contains lactic acid, acetic acid, lactobacillus plantarum, and butyric acid. Dealing with injuries is another unique challenge that farmers and their families must deal with.

3. Weather Problems

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For many of us, dealing with bad weather is not the end of the world. We might have to deal with bad traffic because of a rainstorm, or maybe there’s been heavy snowfall. Such matters don’t typically require the help of mental health professionals, but for farmers and their families, inclement weather can be quite harmful.

Imagine not getting enough rainfall for your crops on your family’s farm, or maybe, because of climate change, your harvests are suffering due to a hotter than normal heat wave. Weather problems take on a whole new life for family farmers, bringing many challenges in tow.

4. Maintaining the Family Business

In many cases on farms, the assumption is often that the child will take over the farm. This is sometimes not the case, as a child might decide that they want to do something else with their lives. This “generational” challenge might cause friction in a farming family, leading to specific issues. In some cases, it might help to seek out family counseling services to find ways to deal with such difficult situations.

Farming challenges can be frustrating, but there is help for farmers and their families to improve their livelihood.

Nola Blanton researches, organizes, and delivers high-level and impactful strategic content that helps OI's readers understand, discuss, and prepare for emerging trends in business and marketing.

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