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“It’s okay not to be okay”

Photo courtesy of Bayer

Numerous factors are weighing on United States farmers and ranchers, including market volatility, trade talks and historic flooding. These pressures not only impact your financial well-being, but mental health.

A multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company is working to squash the stigma associated with talking about mental health through an initiative called Farm State of Mind.

AUDIO: AJ Hohmann, Bayer Crop Science

“It’s okay not to be okay,” says AJ Hohmann, U.S. marketing manager for Bayer Crop Science. Through Farm State of Mind, Bayer Crop Science wants producers to know they are not alone in their battle with anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.

“We’re all in this together. A lot of times it can seem like we’re competition. At the end of the day, we’re all in the same industry and need to have each others backs. We’re all fighting the same battles more often than not,” Hohmann said. “We thought it was a great opportunity to call out the stressful year we’ve had and talk about mental health in agriculture. There’s certainly a stigma associated with talking about mental health; we’re trying to kabosh that stigma.”

Bayer Seed Growth is expanding the solutions it offers to farmers by partnering with other agricultural organizations in offering tools and resources to farmers battling mental health challenges.

“Whether that’s talking to a spouse, family member, friend or clergy. Whether that’s going on a walk, taking five minutes and focusing on you, we want folks to know that’s okay. If you need five minutes, please take five minutes. Do whatever you need to do to be alright,” Hohmann said. 

The initiative was also designed to let rural Americans know, “It’s okay not to be okay.”

“Farmers are some of the most pride-filled people I have ever met. But if there’s stress, mental health issues, we need to ensure that we’re talking about it and we’re being a voice for it. If you need to talk to somebody, focus on your mental health, let’s make sure we’re taking the time and doing that,” Hohmann said. 

Hohmann encourages producers to: “Focus on what matters in life, you and your mental health.” To learn how to better manage your mental health, visit acceleronsas.com/farmstateofmind.