I-29 Moo University

A newsletter for dairy producers & industry- December 2018

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3 Ways to Express Concern for Your Neighbor

By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — It’s no secret that we are seeing an increase in stress and mental well-being concerns across the countryside. There are a myriad of factors contributing to this issue, and it’s impossible to pinpoint one single cause. However, we still need to work together to confront this issue.

If you’re worried about your own stress or mental well-being, know that you are not alone. Talking to someone about how you have been feeling is a great first step in finding help and getting better. You can reach out to a loved one, friend, clergy member, or your medical provider. You can also contact a mental health counselor. If you’re concerned about someone else, it can be hard to bring it up to them. However, bringing it up will let them know you care about them and are concerned, and can be a step towards them getting the help they need.

If you aren’t sure what to say, here are three simple statements and questions from mentalhealth.gov that can help you start the conversation:

· I've been worried about you. Can we talk about what you are experiencing? If not, who are you comfortable talking to?

· I am someone who cares and wants to listen. What do you want me to know about how you are feeling?

· It seems like you are going through a difficult time. How can I help you to find help?

Our mental health and well-being can be uncomfortable to discuss, but by sharing honestly and openly about it and our concerns, we are able to foster comfortable conversations. Reaching out to someone can be difficult, but it could be the first step towards recovery and finding help.

I recently held a program titled, “Farming in Tough Times” that included a panel of producers discussing their own experiences with stress and mental health. The panelists were asked what one piece of advice they would share with someone going through a similar situation. All four responded with the same answer: talk to someone. Tell someone you trust how you’re feeling. You don’t need to go through this alone. There are so many people in our lives that care about us and are more than willing to listen to us. If you aren’t comfortable talking to someone you know, you can always call the Farm and Rural Helpline, 24 hours a day, at 833-600-2670.

If you are interested in additional resources on this topic or would like to talk, you can contact me at 320-255-6169, ext. 3 or krek0033@umn.edu. You can also visit minnesotafarmstress.com for more information.

I-29 Moo University Gold Sponsors

Farm Bill Webinar Set for December 27

A discussion of changes dairy producers should be aware of in the new farm bill will be led by Dr. Marin Bozic, Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota beginning at noon CST on Thursday, December 27. There is no fee, but registration is required at: http://bit.ly/DMC-2019-FarmBill

The program will highlight and discuss the economic implications of five points:

  1. Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers discontinued.
  2. Dairy Margin Coverage program introduced.
  3. Low premiums and coverage levels up to $9.50. Discounts for consistent use.
  4. Partial rebate of net MPP premiums paid for 2015-2018 period.
  5. No more restrictions on combining crop insurance and Title I programs (LGM and DMC)

There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

The program is sponsored by I-29 Moo University and Minnesota Milk. For more information contact your state dairy specialist. In Northwest Iowa that is Fred M. Hall. He can be contacted by calling 712.737.4230 or by email at fredhall@iasstate.edu.

I-29 Moo University Silver Sponsors

Diminishing Personal Injury on Dairy Farms

By Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist

Within the dairy industry there is a high percentage of contact time between animals and human beings on a daily basis. So how are these injuries occurring? Many victims of animal injuries are the result of being stepped on, kicked, fallen on, crushed by cows or mauled by dairy bulls and gored by animals that have not been dehorned.

When training workers about proper livestock handling practices it is important to remind workers that dairy animals have panoramic vision, which means that they are able to see all the way around themselves except for a small blind spot at the nose and rear of the animal. Click here to continue reading.

I-29 Moo University Bronze Sponsors for 2019

Coping with Farm & Rural Stress

Farming is one of the most stressful occupations in the United States. This is particularly true for dairy farmers as they are experiencing an extended period of low milk prices.

Below are some resources available when dealing with stress.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Texting: Text HOME to 741741

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline


Ted Matthews, Rural Mental Health Counselor, no cost, no paperwork
Nebraska Rural Response Hotline

South Dakota Ag Mediation Program:

605-773-5436 or 605-280-4745

South Dakota Rural Help Line:


South Dakota Suicide Prevention Hotline


Iowa Concern Hotline


Illinois Agriculture Mediation Program: 618-549-1200, ext. 1001

Rural Services of Indiana, Inc.: 574-299-9460

Kansas Ag Mediation Services: 800-321-3276

Missouri Agricultural Mediation Program: 573-751-5520

New York State Ag Mediation Program: 518-687-2240 or 866-669-7267

New York Farm Net: 800-547-3276

North Dakota Mediation Service: 844-642-4752 or 701-328-4158

North Dakota 211 Help Line Mental Health Association in North Dakota: 800-472-2911

North Dakota Agricultural Mediation Services: 800-642-4757 or 701-328-2061

Wisconsin Farm Center Hotline: 800-942-2474

Calendar of Events

NOTE: All event times are listed as CST.



20: Improving Conversations with Your Lender webinar: 11:00 am CST; Pre-registration required. Click here to register.

27: Farm Bill Webinar: 12:00 noon CST; Pre-registration required. Click here to register.



14-18: I-29 Moo University Winter Workshop Series~Barn Benchmarks for Success~ in partnership with Midwest Dairy District meetings (MN District 3&4, & 18, & SD District Mtg) & Producer Association Meetings (SDDP) & MN Milk's Dairy Management Workshops, Click here for more info and to RSVP...

About Us

The I-29 Moo University is represented by dairy extension educators and allied partners from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.