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Caring for Farmers: The Land is Everything

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

October 17, 2023 - Prairie du Sac, WI - Farmer Angel Network and Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation hosted an training for local healthcare and behavioral healthcare providers featuring Monica Kramer McConkey, MA, LPC, Rural Behavioral Health Specialist, Eyes on the Horizon Consulting, LLC.

Monica helped healthcare providers and staff understand the farming dynamic and how they can best support their approach to care especially in mental health. She explained the Agrarian Imperative and the culture of the farming.

The Agrarian Imperative: “To farmers, ‘the land is everything.’ Ownership of a family farm is the triumphant result of the struggles of multiple generations. Losing the family farm is the ultimate loss – bringing shame to the generation that has let down their forbearers and dashing the hopes for successors.” “…impels farmers to hang onto their land at all costs. The agrarian imperative instills farmers to work incredibly hard, to endure unusual pain and hardship, and to take uncommon risks.” Michael R. Rosmann, Ph.D.

This training was part of Sauk Prairie Healthcare's Continuing Medical Education Program and open to Sauk, Richland and Iowa County partners working to improve mental health in our area. It was very well attended with attendees representing many different organizations.

The following resources are being made available thanks to our hosts and speaker to help our healthcare and behavioral healthcare providers.

Session Recording: Caring For Farmers CME

Session Slides
Caring For Farmers - Sauk Prairie Healthcare
Download PDF • 9.03MB
Resources Discussed (Click on items for more info)

UW-Extension offers the following trainings explained more at

  • COMET™ is a gentle introduction to supporting friends and neighbors in a vulnerable space to help them shift their mental health trajectory back to a place of wellness and away from the path of a mental health crisis. 2-hours

  • Mental Health First Aid covers how to help someone experiencing a mental health challenge. Teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of these challenges. 8 hours

  • Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) teaches participants how to question, persuade and refer someone who may be suicidal, the common causes of suicidal behavior, the warning signs of suicide, and how to get help for someone in crisis. 90 min

  • WeCOPE (Connecting with Our Positive Emotions) is a practice and skills-based program featuring 11 targeted activities and “practices” that can measurably improve mental and physical health, happiness, and overall well-being. 7 hours over 7 weeks

The One-Stop Shop for Personalized Mental Wellbeing. Easy-to-use web and mobile platform for mental wellness, preventing mental illness, and intervening at the beginning of illness. For Sauk and surrounding county residences to find resources while they wait to be seen. Contact for more info.

Partners with farmers and community members in Southwestern Wisconsin to develop and offer resources that support the health and wellbeing of farmers, farmworkers, and their families.

The Red River Farm Network’s TransFARMation podcast series is designed to increase awareness and reduce inhibitions about acknowledging farm stress, as well as highlight the resources available. Local farmers, ranchers and agricultural stakeholders are featured, sharing personal stories and offering a message of hope.

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