As I sit in another day of rain ( weeks with only a day if sun here or there) wondering if our crop will ever get planted, thinking about what the impact will be if it doesn't, knowing that my husband is stressed to the max, knowing that I don't have the right words to say, knowing that hundreds of farmers have water over roads, fields flooded, some don't even have one seed in the ground, and some in places other than ND continue to struggle with drought and lack offood for livestock. I think about how some chuckle at neighbors for trying to work in the very muddy field when they get stuck. I spend time thinking about how many cattle are getting sick due to lack of dry places. I pondering the economic impact locally/ nationally/ internationally of the potential lack of commodity produced..... I ask, how do we make sure we make it through. How do I make sure that the stress doesn't break my husband, my neighbor, my farm? How do I reach out? What are my resources, what kind of coping solutions can I use/offer/share? The answers are few and far between and none seem to be all to satisfying.
Farmers and Ranchers are people of pride. They want to be strong. They know farming is a gamble with a risk of extreme extremes. BUT, they need support too. They need to know that their neighbor, who may have just taken their best employee or rented land out from under them, is struggling too. They need to check in with others and have others check in on them. They need to know that we all make mistakes, can't always control the circumstances, but can control how we react to them.
It wasn't too long ago that I started to dig in to the impact of stress in the farming and ranching communities. The results were eye-opening...Anxiety, in- ability to think clearly, physical impairments, depression, suicide.
So, I ask that we all take a minute to connect with each other. Ask someone in good times and tough times how they are doing. When you know things are tough, take an extra minute to let them know you are thinking about them. Our world has become distant, more impersonal as the days go by, but as humans, people with a heart, we need personal interaction. We need others. Pride is something to be respected, but there is nothing that builds pride more than being a good neighbor, friend, acquaintance. Take time to connect. It may just save a life!