Host Katie Wantoch and John Shutske, Professor and Director of UW Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and an Extension Specialist, discuss a farmer’s wife who is worried about her husband and the ongoing struggles with their farm business.
Stress is a double-edged sword. A little stress can serve as a constructive motivator, galvanizing us to action. Too much stress, on the other hand, can damage our health compromise safety and sabotage personal relationships. With the arduous and sometimes volatile conditions we see in agriculture, the risk of too much stress is alarming.
Calculating family living needs is an important part of a financial checkup. Putting pen to paper regarding your actual expenses over the past couple of months, can be eye opening for anyone.
When I was a little boy, I was intrigued by trucks, tractors and machines like any farm kid. I understood what the gas pedal was in my mom’s car and my dad’s pickup. But it took me a while to understand exactly what the throttle did on the steering column of our John Deere 4020 and how it controlled fuel flow. Understanding stress is similar — and for our health and the well-being of our loved ones and relationships, learning where to find the levers to “throttle down” the chemicals that fuel high levels of stress is crucial.
A lender’s primary interest is in whether you’re likely to fulfill the requirements of a credit agreement. When a creditor lends you money, he or she does it with the expectation of earning a profit, which is unlikely to happen if there’s a good possibility that you’ll default on the loan. The lender will be […]
A statement often made with professional athletes is that they stayed in the game beyond the years of their peak performance. Of course, the couple million they made for their time, helped ease the transition! However, we may ask the same question of a farm business, when is it time to gracefully exit, when are we trying to stay in the business too long beyond peak performance?
The thought of leaving a business or career that one has always known can be uneasy and downright scary, but along with those thoughts, there are many positives that can come along with making a change. As business owners, farmers develop all types of skills. By evaluating their best skills and matching them with their own personal core values can be a usual exercise to plot a course for the future.
Stress is common in farming. The long hours can sometimes lead to fatigue, especially if there is not enough help. A feeling of a lack of control during changing times and conditions can compound the feeling of uncertainty. Other things that can cause stress are issues related to your kids, relationships, markets, the weather and […]
Employment and training services are offered throughout the state of Wisconsin. These services, from resume development to skill training to on-the-job training, are provided through American Job Center system at any one of several Job Centers locate throughout the state. Basic services are provided to any individual searching for new employment. More intensive services require […]
Knowing where to start with financial analysis can be overwhelming. It may be helpful to remember this just one step in the Farm Financial Model: Records → Management Reports → Decision Making Cash vs. Accrual Accounting Records It’s important to know if your records are on a cash or accrual basis. Most farm records are […]
The development of a meaningful vision is not easy or instantaneous. It takes time, thought, effort, and teamwork. Once you have thought through the following steps, share your vision with the members involved in your farm business. The farm vision will need their input as well, if they are to be involved in the future of the business.
As agricultural and rural community professionals, it is important to understand how to effectively communicate with farmers and family members who face highly stressful situations. Based on cited research and interactions with thousands of farmers and ranchers throughout the US, ten key suggestions have been developed. Understand the basic physical, chemical and physiological workings of […]
For the past several years, Wisconsin farmers have faced a growing number of challenges that translate to high stress levels. As John Shutske, Extension agricultural safety specialist at UW-Madison, puts it, “We’ve had a long-term downturn in crop and milk prices which has hit our dairy sector particularly hard.” The low prices that have continued […]
Regular family money meetings can help divide the stress of the financial burden into more manageable challenges.
Business succession planning doesn’t just doesn’t happen. Producers must intentionally focus on the planning and work with a team of professionals such as a tax specialist, attorney, financial planner, and lender. Family businesses in particular, should first recognize that family and business systems focus on different goals. A family farm inherently mixes family and business […]
Regardless of the time of year, it is important for farm operators to spend some time in their office completing their least favorite activity – paperwork. Most farmers enjoy getting their hands dirty, from digging in the soil, repairing machinery, or working with livestock. They will reluctantly compile the necessary information for income tax preparation, credit borrowing, and crop reporting.
With economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicting farm debt will reach a record high this year, Wisconsin agricultural leaders are warning farmers against the dangers of unregulated lenders.
Farming ranks as one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. Stress, long hours and fatigue contribute to injury risk. When we confront several stressors at once, we may become distracted, and this distraction can cause errors that lead to serious or fatal incidents, such as tractor rollovers or entanglement in a fast-moving machine. Thus, proper safety precautions are essential for preventing such incidents.