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Second season of ‘Farm Stress Real Talk’ podcast now available

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Season two of a Penn State Extension podcast — “Farm Stress Real Talk” — is now available. The podcast focuses on supporting farmers, farm families, and workers in the commercial agriculture industry who are experiencing stress. Listeners can now stream or download the podcast’s second set of episodes.

In the podcast, the extension farm stress team conducts informal educational conversations with a diverse range of educators, Penn State faculty members and agricultural professionals. These interviews give farmers practical strategies to balance farm responsibilities with their own well-being.

Ginger Fenton, dairy extension educator, noted that podcasts are a convenient resource for farmers.

“We know farmers are busy, so we thought a podcast with targeted, practical information would be a good way to reach them,” she said. “Farmers can listen to the podcast while doing chores or operating machinery.”

Episodes range from around 10 to 30 minutes. Last season looked at stressors that are beyond the farmer’s control, such as the weather, regulations, accidents, disease outbreaks and financial challenges.

Season two focuses on strategies to address stress proactively. The episodes offer tips for planning ahead to reduce financial stress, farm succession planning and advance care planning with documents such as living wills and powers of attorney.

The podcast features educators and faculty from across disciplines and program areas. For example, season two introduces guests with expertise in social work, agricultural law and financial planning.

“The objectives of this podcast are to increase awareness, provide constructive suggestions and share real-life experiences,” Fenton said.

She explained that mental health awareness and resources are particularly important for individuals in the farming community.

“Because of their occupation and the demands that accompany it, farmers face challenges that those outside of agriculture may not understand,” she said. “Their jobs can be stressful at times and taxing both physically and mentally. Penn State Extension, along with many other organizations, is aware of these challenges and has worked to develop resources to support the agricultural community.”

The second season is available on the Penn State Extension website.

Podcast team members include extension educators Chi Catalone, Amber Hughes, Sonya Nace, Jill Varner and Ginger Fenton.

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