Two timely workshops coming up for ag community

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By Michael Cruse, UMN Extension educator and Nathan Hulinsky, UMN Extension educator

University of Minnesota Extension would like to invite area farmers to attend two important workshops on Friday, Feb. 22, at the Mabel Community Center.

From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Meg Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and Cynthie Christensen, Houston County Farm Bureau, will present “Dealing with stress in our ag communities.”

Stress factors are on the rise for Minnesota farmers. Many face financial problems, price and marketing uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges, and more. You may know farmers who are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, feelings of indecision, or suicidal thoughts.

In this mini-workshop, we’ll talk about the many facets of farm stress, including its sources, signs, symptoms, and effects. We’ll also explore ways you can provide support to/connect someone with the kind of help they need, ways to protect your own well-being, and resources available in southeast Minnesota.

From 10 a.m. to noon, Joleen Hadrich, University of Minnesota Extension Economist, will present “Dairy Revenue Protection versus New Farm Bill.”

This two-hour workshop will compare the new Farm Bill’s Dairy Margin Coverage with the old Margin Protection Program and Farm Bureau’s Dairy Revenue Protection. Hadrich will use spreadsheets and other tools to analyze the effectiveness of these programs at different coverage levels and varying pounds of coverage. Pros and cons of the programs will be highlighted.

The goal of this program is to help dairy producers determine which program is best for their operation. Having a baseline knowledge of your cost of production will help you interpret the scenarios presented at the workshop. Hadrich will also be sharing helpful tools for calculating your cost of production if you need that assistance.

The “Dairy Revenue Protection versus New Farm Bill” workshop will also be presented on Friday, Feb. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the St. Charles city hall.

These workshops are free to attend. Registration is requested, but not required. To register, please visit at