Rural resiliency webinar series to offer advice on stress

Larry Tranel
Iowa State University Extension

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Rural residents and those who associate with them are encouraged to partake in a webinar series called “Rural Resiliency: Caring for You and Yours” which will be hosted from 7:30-8:45 p.m. on four consecutive Tuesday evenings in March.

The series is sponsored by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team, university extensions in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as in cooperation with rural church organizations.

“This webinar series is a discussion starter and healthy mindset promoter for dealing with rural behavioral and brain health, communication skills and relationship enrichment for self, marriage and families,” according to program speaker Larry Tranel, a pastoral psychologist and ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialist.

Farm families and those who work with them as consultants or neighbors are encouraged to attend. Local churches or ag businesses are encouraged to host a community site, following COVID restrictions, to allow farmers and interested rural associates to come together for group discussion and support.

“Attention to simple, but proven, relationship behaviors and mindset tactics can truly elevate our personal and family well-being to better deal with whatever life sends our way,” Tranel said.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Sessions will be hosted as follows:

  • Mar. 2: "Farm Stress Resiliency and Grief"
  • Mar. 9: "Personality Keys When 'Married' to Farm Stress"
  • Mar. 16: "Dealing with the Stresses of Men, Women and Children"
  • Mar. 23: "Brain and Behavioral Health 'Hacks' to Mitigate Distress"

Register for the series at Questions about the program can be directed to Larry Tranel at 563-583-6496 or

Other Resources

Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics.

With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. You can also visit the Iowa Concern website to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress or crisis and disaster issues.

211 is a free, comprehensive information and referral line linking Iowa residents to health and human service programs, community services, disaster services and governmental programs. This service is collaborating with the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide confidential assistance, stress counseling, education and referral services related to COVID-19 concerns.

Living in a rural area can have unique stresses, compared to living in a more urban city. Attending the Iowa State University webinars on this subject could help mitigate some of those issues.