Mental Health on the Farm
A Special Podcast Produced by Commodity Classic in Partnership with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters
Panelists and Moderator
ADRIENNE DeSUTTER is part of her husband’s fourth generation corn and soybean farm family. They have a small herd of cattle and a small herd of children. With a Master’s degree in Counseling and personal experiences with farm stress, Adrienne recognized a need for mental health advocacy in agriculture, and began partnering with ag businesses and organizations to promote healthy minds and prevent farmer suicide. In addition to public speaking, she helps create and connect valuable ag mental health resources, writes a wellness column, and has been featured in articles, podcasts, and initiatives across the globe. She encourages a community approach to keeping farm families healthy, and works to break down mental health barriers and empower farmers through her social media presence, @SowHopeGrowHope.
TED MATTHEWS is a mental health practitioner with over 30 years of experience in counseling in rural areas. His focus for the past two decades has been farmer mental health support. He has been the director of mental health services during five natural disasters. Matthews provides nationwide outreach training and public speaking related to farm stressors. He also has extensive counseling experience in the areas of PTSD, crisis intervention, family issues, suicidology and domestic abuse. Featured on the Huffington Post, MPR News, CNN, NPR, AgriNews, Successful Farming, Prairie Farmer and many others, Ted offers his expertise to help the general population to better understand the farming culture.
JASON MEDOWS was born and raised on his family’s cow calf operation outside of Cuba, Missouri. He grew up playing football and baseball as well as involved in his local 4-H. In 2002 Jason left the farm for St Louis College of Pharmacy. He graduated in 2008 with his Doctor in Pharmacy and returned home to work at a local hospital and continue the cow-calf operation he started in college. It was at that local hospital he met his future wife Keri. Fast forward 12 years and they have four boys and have purchased another farm of their own. In 2019, Jason began his podcast “Ag State Of Mind” where he combines his medical background with his passion for agriculture to help break the stigma surrounding mental health in agriculture.
LOWELL NEITZEL is a fourth-generation farmer in East Central Kansas. He farms with his wife's family, where he grows corn and soybeans and has a small feedlot operation. He and his wife Krystale are parents to two: Tuff (12) and Mayson (6) who love being at the farm, and working with the 4-H animals. Mental health is very important to Lowell after watching his father suffer for years with depression, dealing with depression and anxiety himself and seeing fellow farmers struggling as well. “It's time that our fellow farmers know that they are not alone,” he says.
PAM JAHNKE (Moderator) Getting up at 2 in the morning might shock some of her listeners, but for Pam Jahnke, it's part of the business. Growing up on a dairy farm just north of Green Bay, Pam grew up surrounded by agriculture.