Summit to focus on farm economics, stress

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NDSU Extension

Farm and ranch families and the professionals who support them will learn more about the current farm economy, farm management options, and ways to deal with farm and family stress at the Life Beyond Breaking Even: Farm Economic Summit set for Jan. 29-30 in Bismarck.

“The summit will bring together regional and national experts to provide farm and ranch family members, ag industry professionals and others with information, strategies and resources to navigate the issues in the current farm economy,” says David Ripplinger, North Dakota State University Extension Service bioproducts/bioenergy economist.

“Low commodity prices, drought and other issues are putting farm and ranch families in financial and personal stress, so the summit also will integrate that topic,” says Sean Brotherson, Extension family science specialist.

The NDSU Extension Service and North Dakota Farmers Union are sponsoring the summit at the National Energy Center of Excellence at Bismarck State College. It will feature two preconference workshops and a full-day conference:

• Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Farm Management Workshop

• Jan. 29, 1-6 p.m. – Managing Stresses in Farming, Families and Finances Workshop

• Jan. 30, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. – Farm Economic Summit

Keynote speakers for the Jan. 30 Farm Economic Summit are Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union president and former North Dakota agriculture commissioner, and Rick Peterson, National Rural Mental Health Association past president and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service family life specialist. Other speakers will talk about the farm economy, financial alternatives, stress and the farm outlook.

Registration is $25 for either of the Jan. 29 preconferences and $25 for the Farm Economic Summit.

For an agenda and to register, visit Registration after Jan. 24 and on-site will have a $25 late fee.

“In the farm management preconference, farm and ranch families, and those who work with them, such as ag lenders, government agency officials and attorneys, will learn about options for dealing with these tough economic times,” Ripplinger says.

Brotherson adds, “Speakers at the managing stresses preconference will share ideas for pursuing wellness, managing conflict, controlling finances, handling stress and more. In addition, mental health professionals, educators, nongovernmental organization representatives and others who attend will brainstorm how to work together to carry out programs to support farm and ranch families.”

Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union president. Photo courtesy of North Dakota Farmers Union
Rick Peterson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service family life specialist. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M