By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net
At the Farm Science Review, producers will have the opportunity to inspect the latest iron from all of the equipment manufacturers, watch in-field demonstrations, and learn about the best conservation practices and technology. Added to the already full topic list at this year’s event is farm and rural stress — specifically how to prevent and deal with it.
Jolene Brown is a professional farm speaker and writes a column for Successful Farming and Pink Tractor. She farms with her husband Keith, in West Branch, Iowa. The Farm Science Review will feature two sessions of her talk “Stop the fighting on the way to the funeral home.” Brown’s presentations will be held in the Celebration tent just outside the west gate on the grounds.
“Everyone knows brothers and sisters or aunts and uncles or other people who aren’t talking to each other. That’s because people didn’t do things when the times were good to have the tools and means in place when we get tested. Then, because they don’t have things clarified in writing and because they didn’t operate like a business, we have this big explosion on the way to the funeral home,” Brown said.
In her conversation with producers, Brown will be detailing 10 things that break up a family business.
“These are things like a conversation is not a contract, money matters, and more,” Brown said. “But, the number one thing I’ll be talking about is what 95% of my calls are about. People are operating as a family-first business. That means they don’t rock the boat and make dad mad. We’ll just all get along and hope we can get farming.”
Brown is going to help producers be what she calls a “business-first family.”
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to put the business before the family. That just means if we love and honor you this much, we’re going to get the business right,” she said.
Brown recognizes the extraordinary year, and how that can be even more of a stress burden on producers.
“From Mother Nature, to low commodity prices and adding in tariffs and politics, it’s a heavy load. I don’t want our farmers going through this alone. They need to take care of themselves and not forget about their friends and neighbors either,” Brown said.
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to rural stress and Brown touts the prevention.
“The reason I’m doing this talk is to make sure they have a good foundation built on good solid ground. Not on shifting sand. Then, when we’re tested, we have that foundation underneath us,” she said. “That’s what increases our profitability, productivity, and our peace of mind. Then, we can sit together happily at a holiday table.”
Brown will be speaking at the Farm Science Review on Sept. 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. and on Sept. 19 from 10 to 11 a.m. She will also be around the grounds to talk with farmers who may have questions.