Farmers’ Mental Health: Perceptions from a Farm Show

Josie M. Rudolphi, Kathrine L. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Current economic and environmental conditions have increased awareness of farmers’ mental health. Agribusiness professionals may be important key informants to assist agricultural safety and health professionals in understanding the mental health experience of farmers and inform their potential role in mental health promotion. The objectives of this study were to explore agribusiness personnel’s perceptions of their farmer clients’ mental health and their perceived role in mental health promotion. Methods: Fifteen brief interviews of agribusiness personnel were conducted across 3 days in July 2018 at Farm Technology Days in Wood County, Wisconsin. Results & Discussion: Many interviewees commented on the mental health status of farmers in Wisconsin, stating farmers are “stressed” and “depressed”. However, agribusiness personnel were hesitant about their organization’s role in mental health promotion. Several respondents cited lack of training and confidence as barriers to addressing mental health with their clients. Others were optimistic about their organization’s role in mental health promotion; however, participation would be mostly passive, stating mental health is a difficult topic to broach with some individuals. Conclusion: To engage agribusiness in mental health promotion, efforts to reduce the stigma of mental health disorders and increase agribusiness representatives’ confidence and skills in talking about mental health will be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Mental health
  • agribusiness
  • farmers
  • health promotion
  • perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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