Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture

Brenda Mack

The Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture project centers around the fact that farmwomen and women in agriculture have unique needs in responding to farm and agricultural stress because of the multiple roles they play.

The project featured a virtual telehelp webinar series that have been both live and recorded, an online early-stress-detection questionnaire, and in-person presentations at women’s conferences. An online Coffee Chat was added as a means for women to gather and share what was on their minds related to agricultural stress in a safe place

The Cultivating Resiliency Project continues to grow beyond the original partner project funding from UMASH. In addition to continuing the online Coffee Chats, the project launched a new podcast addressing the stress and mental health issues for women in agriculture. The podcasts began October 2020 and are listed on the UMASH website.

coffee and computerVIRTUAL COFFEE CHATS

Grab a cup of coffee and join us for an opportunity to listen and share in our Cultivating Resiliency online “Coffee Chat” group.

Participants in our Cultivating Resiliency online sessions wanted a way for women to gather to offer them the opportunity to share what was on their minds related to agricultural stress in a safe place.

2020 Project Update

At UMASH’s 2018 Building Resilient Agricultural Communities Forum, panelist Doris Mold, MS realized the need for more support to help women in agriculture weather the stressors that accompany living and working on a farm. They especially noticed a need for more explicit programming dedicated to mental health, women, and agriculture.

Dorris Mold is an agricultural consultant and farmer. She is also known as a past president and current committee member of American Agri-Women. Mold joined forces with Megan Roberts – University of Minnesota Extension Educator, co-leader of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Women in Ag Network, and farmer. Roberts and Mold settled upon a far-reaching idea: to host free webinars addressing needs specific to women. Given the long days required of farmers, this would allow more women to attend. The only equipment viewers would need is a phone or a computer.

Roberts and Mold applied for and were granted a pilot project grant through UMASH. With funding in place, they were ready to make big changes! First, they partnered with American Agri-Women, District 11 Agri-Women, and the University of Minnesota Extension’s Women in Ag Network. Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, LGSW and Brenda Mack, LICSW joined the team to help lead the webinars.

The webinars have been a success! The project has generated a large amount of interest in newspapers, magazines, web articles, radio interviews, and on social media. Online participants represent 46 states and 5 Canadian provinces, with the majority hailing from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana. 90% of the 300 women surveyed for the Cultivating Resiliency project said they experience stress related to agriculture. This demonstrates the necessity of these webinars.

2019 Project Update


As of January 2020, the live and recorded webinars have been viewed over 2,500 times.

The team has worked hard to develop programming that fits the needs of the participants, as demonstrated by participant feedback:

You are all effective presenters. (Effective use of objective data and tools and from-the-heart experience.) Thank you!

I appreciate the hosts for their time. I really felt like I am better equipped to manage and adapt my own self-care plan

Online participants have come from 36 states and provinces with the majority coming from the Upper Midwest. For those completing the post session surveys the following was discovered: the audience is primarily women 23-72 years of age and they engage in production agriculture and other agricultural positions, often both.

The project has generated a large amount of media interest. Newspaper, magazine, and web articles and radio interviews along with social media posts. Plans are underway for an expanded project national in scope that will take what we has been learned to develop additional programming and assist more people.







Doris Mold
Past-President, American Agri-Women; Minnesota Agri-Women District 11 President;
Farm Business Management Instructor
Email: doris@sunriseag.net

Megan Roberts
Extension Educator, Co-Leader Minnesota Women in Ag Network, University of Minnesota Extension
Phone: 507-389-6722
Email: meganr@umn.edu

This project has brought together American Agri-Women, District 11 Agri-Women, University of Minnesota Extension- Women in Ag Network and the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) to work on this effort. Funding is provided by a UMASH grant.


Working together to build something new.


It will only take a few minutes.

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