How to Talk with Farmers Under Stress

Michigan State Extension.


This article acknowledges the stressful nature of the farming occupation and provides information about how to communicate with a farmer under stress.


warning signs of stress; ways to help a farmer in stress; steps to take in the event of a potential crisis; statements, questions, actions to use

Recommended Audience

those who offer support to those in the farm community; clergy; lay leaders



Practical Applications

  • Learn the unique signs of stress exhibited by those in the farming community and understand how to more effectively and empathetically communicate with them.
  • Utilize the questions, statements, and actions suggested in this article to actively relate to a farmer you know who is under stress.

About the Contributor

Karen Goley

Karen Goley uses her resource knowledge and relational style to work closely with congregations as a resource consultant and behind the scenes with our robust database of resources and doing project work.  Prior to joining the Center, Karen spent over fifteen years in the human resources field, serving nonprofit and financial services organizations in the Indianapolis area and the suburbs of Chicago.

With faith as her foundation, Karen enjoys spending quality time with her family and is a very proud Purdue University alum.  Having earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision, Karen put her pride on full display by naming the family pup Mackey- after Purdue basketball’s Mackey Arena.  Boiler Up!

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