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Resiliency Programs

Resiliency Programs

What is Resilience?

re·sil·ience or re·​sil·​ien·​cy (noun):
the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties.

Programming from Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture and The Rural Resiliency Project provide resources to help farmers, farm families, and women in agriculture weather stress.

Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture

Programming is designed to help women in agriculture cultivate resiliency by focusing on what they can control in these challenging times and connect them with resources and information to help them weather stress. This is a collaboration of American Agri-Women, University of Minnesota Extension- Women in Ag Network, and District 11 Agri-Women. Original funding for Cultivating Resiliency project came from UMASH.

Rural Resiliency Project

The goal of this project is to increase the resiliency of farmers, farm families, and rural communities in rural Wisconsin, prioritizing efforts to reduce stress, improve mental health, and enhance economic well-being. Sessions focus on building entrepreneurship, workforce development, and supporting farm transitions. The project is funded through the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Foundation. The project also collaborated with the Cultivating Resiliency Program and UMASH.



ONLINE COFFEE CHATS

Times are challenging! Grab your coffee and join us for an opportunity to listen and share in our Cultivating Resiliency free online “Coffee Chat”. This is an opportunity to share what is on your mind related to agricultural stress in a safe place. Participants are anonymous (no cameras, no names) and may type in their questions or verbalize them, or just listen. The session will not be recorded. Participants cannot see each other nor do they see each other’s names.

Sessions are limited to a maximum of 20 registrants and last one hour.

Cultivating Resiliency Coffee Chat

May 7, 2024
12:00pm Central

Chat facilitated by Dr. Brenda Mack.

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RESILIENCY CIRCLES

The Circle is an ongoing FREE group that allows participants to have a safe space to share ideas, challenges, and successes on various topics related to farm life and related stressors. Registration is limited for each session. Participants may come to one session, come every month or join the circle as needed across time. Each session will last one and a half hours. Participants do not need to attend the entire session. Circle participants are anonymous, and they choose how to participate – they can just listen; they can type in questions or comments, or they may unmute and verbalize questions or comments. Sessions will not be recorded. Participants cannot see each other, nor do they see each other’s names.

Farm Transition Resiliency Circle

May 17, 2024
12:00pm Central

A safe space for the farm/agricultural community to share ideas, challenges and successes around farm/agriculture life and farm/ranch transitions. Circle facilitated by Monica McConkey.

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WebinarsRESILIENCY WEBINARS

Cultivating Resiliency sessions are designed to help women in agriculture cultivate resiliency by focusing on what they can control in these challenging times and connect them with resources and information that can help them weather stress. Rural Resiliency sessions are live webinar sessions that help build resiliency and empower economic well-being. 

The sessions are 60-90 minutes in length and include a topic for discussion followed by an interactive Q & A period. Sessions will be recorded and will be made available for viewing post-webinar. Session participants remain anonymous as they participate in the session. Participants cannot see each other and cannot view each other’s names. Nor are participant images or names recorded during the session.

A special webinar for Mental Health Awareness Month

Addressing Stress, Mental Health, and Wellness in the Ag Community: A Call to Action

May 9, 2024
12:00pm Central

This presentation will focus on understanding the signs, symptoms, facts, and figures related to stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, and other mental and chemical health issues among farmers and ranchers. Participants will learn about prevention and intervention strategies to increase emotional health and well-being. Information on how to be an effective “Ag ally” for someone struggling with stress-related issues and other helpful resources will also be shared. Facilitated by Brenda Mack.

This special May is Mental Health Awareness webinar brought to you by the Cultivating Resiliency Program, The Rural Resiliency Project and the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Program.

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Farmer Veteran Coalition

FREE Virtual QPR Suicide Prevention Training Sessions by Farmer Veteran Coalition

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer - the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Participants will receive additional resource information and a certificate following this training. 

The length of training is one hour and 30 minutes, with an additional optional 30 minutes of role-playing and discussion. Training is led by Monica McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist, and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

This is a one-session course. Only one training is required to become a QPR certified gatekeeper. Multiple dates and times are available to accommodate different schedules. Choose the date/time that works for you.

May 8, 2024 @ 2:00pm Central
May 22, 2024 @ 12:00pm Central

Please note that you must register to view recorded webinars.

The Impact of Isolation on Mental Health: May 12, 2023

May 12, 2023

While many of us thrive on living and working in rural areas, the element of isolation can impact our mental wellbeing in a variety of ways. In this webinar we will explore the connections between isolation and our mental health. We will also discuss strategies to maintain mental wellness during times we feel isolated and alone. A joint Rural Resiliency and Cultivating Resiliency Session for Mental Health Awareness Month.

This programming is being brought to you jointly by The Rural Resiliency Project and the Cultivating Resiliency Program

About our facilitator:

Monica Kramer McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist, and LPC has 25+ years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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Tensions of Farm Succession

For many farms, transferring the farm to a next generation is the ultimate legacy goal, especially when transferring within the family. But it’s not all rainbows and roses. Farmers focus on the technical details of transferring assets, much like machinery repair. If you put the right nut with the corresponding bolt, voila, you have a plan! But succession planning involves humans, with corresponding emotions. Research around farm succession has identified several “tensions” that can cause stress during the planning process. Those areas of tension include financial concerns • Control • Change • Inheritance distribution • Communication.

If farm families/farm partners can identify their potential tensions and approach the plan with their tensions in mind, they can avoid some of the common “stalls” or pitfalls many farms face. This webinar will discuss these tensions and ideas on how to address them, including worksheets to assist communications, and the value of a facilitator to help navigate potentially stressful but necessary conversations.

About our facilitator:

Joy Kirkpatrick has worked for the University of Wisconsin for 29 years.  She began her Extension career as a county-based educator. In 2004 she became the Farm Succession Outreach Specialist for the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability. In this position, she collaborates with colleagues to provide educational programs and information on farm succession planning.  Kirkpatrick has extensive experience facilitating farm succession discussions with farm businesses and farm families. Kirkpatrick up on a farrow to finish hog farm in Southern Illinois, the youngest of seven. Joy is honored to work with farm families on some of their most personal issues when working on farm succession planning. She has written articles on retirement planning for farmers and taught seminars throughout the US on farm succession facilitation. Kirkpatrick developed the Certified Farm Succession Coordinator training that has certified over 300 participants in farm succession planning.

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Grief and Loss in Agriculture

Experiencing grief and loss as ag producers is an all-too-common experience.  However, not all loss is recognized such as loss of the passing on of the legacy of the operation, loss of dreams, and downsizing.  These losses along with death, injury, illness, natural disasters, and loss of livestock can be overwhelming and impact the family and employees.  In this webinar we will explore losses the ag community experiences, how those losses impact an individual and family, and different types of grief. Monica McConkey will be leading the session and will be joined by farmers/agriculturalists with experience in agriculturally related stress.

About our facilitator:

Monica Kramer McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist, and LPC has 25+ years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

This programming is being brought to you jointly by The Rural Resiliency Project and the Cultivating Resiliency Program.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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Mindfulness, Mediation, and Self-Compassion Exercises for Women in Agriculture – To Use Anywhere, Anytime!: June 16, 2022

June 16, 2022

This session will focus on stress-reducing practices to help build your resiliency. Participants will engage in brief exercises and activities that can be replicated in their farming and ranching lives. Dr. Brenda Mack, the webinar facilitator, was born and raised in a farming family in the Red River Valley, MN, and is married to a fourth-generation crop farmer. She uses these exercises on a regular basis and encourages you to add them to your self-care toolbox.
The Cultivating Resiliency Collaboration uses an online platform where session participants remain anonymous as they participate in the session. Participants cannot see each other and cannot view each other’s names. Nor are participant images or names recorded.

About our facilitator:

Dr. Brenda Mack is a behavioral health and human services consultant, trainer and presenter, and an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department at Bemidji State University (BSU). Brenda is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker through the Minnesota Board of Social Work. Brenda grew up on a farm and currently lives on a farm with her farming family. Brenda completed her Doctor of Social Work at the University of St. Thomas in the spring of 2020.

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Resiliency in Times of Ambiguity: May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Building resilience is a proven strategy when facing adversity, but what if that adversity isn't as cut-and-dry as something like a death, a sale, or a financial change? Join us to learn more about building resilience in times when our loss, grief, and stress may feel unclear or unending. Emily and Jenifer will introduce the theory of ambiguous loss, and its applications to agriculture, and share resilience strategies to keep you moving forward, even in the face of the unknown and uncontrollable.
About our presenters:
Emily Krekelberg grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Le Sueur, Minnesota. She works for the University of Minnesota Extension as the Extension Educator for Farm Safety & Health. Her work focuses on grain bin safety, livestock safety, tractor safety, farmer mental health, and suicide prevention. A passion of Emily’s is advocating for wellness in agriculture. She has a BS in Animal Science and a Master's in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota.
Jenifer McGuire is a professor in the Family Social Science Department at the University of Minnesota and an Extension Specialist in Family Development. Her research focuses on the health and well-being of transgender youth. Her work in ambiguous loss uses the perspective to examine family relationships with complex patterns of acceptance and rejection around family members’ gender identity and sexual orientation. This collaboration has provided an exciting opportunity to apply ambiguous loss to the struggles of farming families.

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Having Productive Farm Meetings: April 19, 2022

April 19, 2022

Sometimes it feels like farm meetings turn into one big yelling match, where nothing ever gets done. It doesn’t have to be like that. In this session, we will learn how to have productive farm meetings. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of it all, covering all topics from how to set an agenda, to where you should sit at the table. Running a farm takes a village, it is important that village is all on the same page. Bringing together all members of the operation to have open, yet controlled conversation is the first step in making your day-to-day operation flow more smoothly and also gives you the time you need to make plans for the future.

About our presenter:

Alma Jorgenson grew up on a beef and small grain farm in Big Stone County, Minnesota. Her passion for rural mental health started while she was working in her local grocery store, interacting with small town residents and farmers daily. Alma left Big Stone County to study psychology and geography at Gustavus Adolphus, and worked on a family-owned dairy farm while in college. She knows the culture of farming, and the challenges it puts on families. She also knows the connections between policy, access, and meaningful care for struggling families.  Alma focuses on solution-oriented, positive interventions.

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Trauma in Agriculture: April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022

Trauma on agricultural operations is common. Events like natural disasters, injuries, accidents and deaths are commonplace. In addition, the geographic isolation on farms can provide an environment for verbal, emotional, and physical abuse apart from the eyes of others. During this webinar we will explore what trauma means, the impact trauma can have on an individual’s functioning, and some steps that you can use to address trauma in your life or the lives of those around you.

About our presenters:
Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC, Rural Mental Health Specialist, Eyes on the Horizon Consulting Amanda Richter, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services, Prairie St. John’s.

Monica Kramer McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist, and LPC has 25+ years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life. Amanda Richter is the Director of Clinical Services at Prairie St. John’s. Amanda’s approach to behavioral healthcare is person-centered with emphasis on treating the whole person. Amanda believes interpersonal relationships and system interaction are important factors in maintaining emotional wellbeing. She feels passionate about bringing a trauma informed lens to our relational experiences, as this helps drive understanding and acceptance to interpersonal relationships.

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The HUMAN Side of Farm Transitions: March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Tears…Stony Silence…Yelling. The "human side" of farm transitions is often just as, or more, complex as the legal and financial process.  Generational differences, lack of effective communication, and family dynamics are three areas that will be explored during this webinar.  Strategies will be shared on how to navigate relationship challenges in order to pass on the legacy of the family farm...and still be able to sit down together at a holiday dinner.

About our presenter:

Monica Kramer McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist and LPC has 25+ years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life. Monica will be joined by a farmer who has personal transition experience along with professionals who have worked with farm families to develop transition plans. 

Please look for our Resiliency Circles as a follow-up to this webinar where participants can participate in interactive anonymous conversations on the topic.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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Hi my name is... And I am a...: Wednesday, August 18, 2021

August 18, 2021

What if the simple statement of “Hi my name is….. and I am a …….”  holds the key to already developed, but possibly untapped resiliency?Have you ever thought about the simplicity and complexity of this statement? During this session, we will explore how this statement can peel away the layers of our identity, stress, family relationships, community relationships, etc. as it relates to farm and/or agricultural life.

About our presenter:

Angela Sorg, MS, LMHC attended Hanover College where she earned a BA in Psychology and an MS in Mental Health Counseling and another in School Counseling from the University of Saint Francis. She is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and currently employed by Purdue University.  She also serves as the Health and Human Sciences Educator for DeKalb County, where she provides research based information to her local community and across the state of Indiana and beyond. Angela is proud to be a part of Purdue Extension’s Mental Health First Aid, Co-Parenting, and Farm Stress teams. Angela hails from a farming family in Kentucky and knows the farming and agricultural way of life.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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How Do I Take 5 in the Rush?!: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

It is a rush a whirl and your world is spinning faster than ever! Spring planting, graduations, weddings, a return to social gatherings, and a return to offices. Things can get more than a bit overwhelming. In this session, Monica Kramer McConkey will lead us through some internal and external strategies to help us reduce stress and "Take 5" in the Rush.

About our presenter:

Monica Kramer McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist and LPC has 25+ years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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Fire Up & Lead by Living Into Our Values and Building BRAVING Trust: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021

Is your team struggling to feel a sense of trust and belonging - whether on the farm or in the virtual workplace? How do you work with team members that are family? As a leader, do you wish you could keep up with the changing demands of your team without feeling overwhelmed? Today's new work world may be here to stay, but feelings of being overwhelmed and burnout do not have to be the new normal. In Fire Up & Lead, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, and leadership development consultant Stacy Whaley uses tools from Dr. Brené Brown's Dare to Lead methods to help you improve your trustworthiness (and influence) at work while living into your values.

Stacy Whaley, Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Fire Up & Lead, is on a mission to transform workplace cultures and passionately believes that it begins by building people-centered businesses. Stacy has a long background of working in diverse environments, including leadership positions in sales, account management, financial planning, and call centers. Through these roles, she has witnessed both the good and bad of leadership—and it’s these experiences that propelled her to start her leadership development business.

Stacy partners with small business leaders and helps them gain clarity on their vision, design their organizational standards, and develop actionable strategies that will further their business goals. As a Dare to Lead certified professional and Authorized Partner of Everything DiSC, she teaches, guides, and supports leaders at every level of the organization as they bring to life a people-centered culture. With the power of technology, Stacy works with both local and national clients and truly enjoys seeing their SUCCESS.

Stacy and her family—including five boys and two grandchildren—live in Northwestern Wisconsin where some of her fondest childhood memories are rooted in the multi-generational family farm located in Tilden, Wisconsin. She is an active volunteer in her community, serving on advisory boards for the Women’s Business Center.

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Managing Change Through Challenging Times: Friday, March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021

We’ve always known that change is constant. However, this past year has taken that to a new level. We work differently, live differently, and yet we still need to be productive through it for our families, farms, careers, and communities. Come to this session and discover the research behind Change Management and how we can leverage that to become stronger and more resilient through change.

About our presenter:

Val Velde has an extensive background in leadership development, meeting facilitation, parliamentary procedure, project management including a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. At Land O’Lakes she’s spent 17 years in Corporate Customer Service Management including experience in Customer Operations (managing both domestic and international teams), people management, organizational development, and change leadership. She manages both Consumer & Business-to-Business Customer Service teams. Val has a passion for Agriculture, steaming from her own farm roots, 4—H, and FFA participation. Today she is the Chair of the MN Board of Directors for FFA Foundation, serves on the U of MN Beta of Clovia Alumni Board, as well as the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC) board. Val believes developing others, coaching employees/ teams, and upgrading talent is a cornerstone of successful organizations.

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Cultivating Resiliency Through Annie's Project: Friday, February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annie’s Project actively helps women cultivate resiliency through their mission “To empower women in agriculture to be successful through education, networks, and resources” During this interactive session Dr. Karisha Devlin, Annie’s Project Co-CEO will highlight some key components of Annie’s Project and how it can help you build resiliency to face stressors related to farming, ranching, and daily life. She will provide some examples of activities that can put you on the path of reducing risk and increasing your own resiliency. Annie’s Project has provided programming for over 18,000 women across the United States since its inception. In addition to her position as Annie’s Project Co-CEO, Dr. Devlin is Annie’s Project facilitator and coordinator in Missouri and a Field Specialist in Agricultural Business for the University of Missouri Extension. Her doctoral dissertation was “Meeting the educational needs of farm women: A Case Study from Annie's Project.” She and her family own and operate a 5th generation farm in Missouri.

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There is More to Your Story – How to Bend When Life Dares You to Break: January 29, 2021

January 29, 2021

There is more to your story and life’s bigger story. Author and speaker Beth Lueders has interviewed thousands of people around the world exploring their life stories and how they come back from adversity and everyday pressures. Beth’s insights on resiliency will help you discover practical ways to move beyond stress and discouragement to dig deep and turn the page to a fresh chapter in your life.

About Beth:

Raised in rural southeast Nebraska, author, and speaker Beth Lueders knows a thing or two about showing 4-H horses, mucking stalls, and feeding the cattle. Beth majored in general agriculture/journalism at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln where she was a member of the Block and Bridle Club.
Beth is an award-winning journalist who has crisscrossed the planet to document stories about people’s resiliency in nearly 20 countries. Her work includes in-depth features on the plight of African villagers and Chernobyl’s radiation-poisoned children. Beth has authored and co-authored several books including her latest, Bend: When Life Dares You to Break, incredible stories of finding strength and resiliency through anything.
Beth lives in Colorado where she runs her writing and editing business, MacBeth Communications. She also volunteers with her AKC champion collie for pet therapy visits to hospitals, care facilities, and military bases. Beth admires the simple things in life: getting outdoors, sipping fresh coffee, and enjoying laughter with family and friends.

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Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Your Holidays! Fill Your Resiliency Toolbox 2.0: Using Empowerment Tools, Strategies, and Solutions: December 18, 2020

December 18, 2020

The holidays can be stressful. During this interactive session, participants will learn about resiliency-building strategies and exercises to effectively cope with holiday and ag-related stress. Participants will engage in real-time, in-the-moment, activities that can be replicated in everyday life. This “tool talk” is meant to empower participants in overcoming holiday challenges and ag-related difficulties while increasing feelings of joy, hope, and happiness.

About our Presenter:

Dr. Brenda Mack, LICSW, is a behavioral health and wellness consultant, trainer, presenter, researcher and Assistant Professor/Field Director in the Social Work Department at Bemidji State University. Brenda worked for twenty years as a program manager, outpatient/in-home therapist and mobile behavioral health crisis responder for a community mental health center in rural Minnesota. Brenda grew up in a farm family in the Red River Valley and is married to a fourth-generation crop farmer. Brenda is a 2020-2021 National Rural Health Association Fellow dedicated to building and strengthening resilient rural communities.

Brought to you by a collaborative of the University of Minnesota Women in Ag Network, District 11 Agri-Women, American Agri-Women, Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, Annie’s Project and the Rural Resiliency Project made possible by the Neil Lipinski Fund and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

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Gaining Momentum: October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

Are you at a crossroads in your business and you’re unsure of which way to go next? Do you feel that it’s difficult to separate your business from your personal life…do you have a personal life? Do you struggle with family dynamics within your business? Attend this session and learn ways to REALLY solve these issues, think differently (if you dare) and regain momentum in your business and life.

1) Understanding who you are versus what you do
2) Family dynamics - the great potential and how to effectively tap into it for your farm/ranch/business
3) Mind shift discussion around change, the future, and how the farm/ranch/business is run
4) What's next for you and how you get there?

**This session is 90 minutes including Q&A

About our presenter:

Tami Forero is a strategic thinker and creative problem solver. As CEO of successful, Colorado Springs-based company, Forté Events, Inc. and Forté Consulting, she has helped small companies, Fortune 500’s, and two countries overcome issues and realize success.

With twenty-eight years of experience, Tami helps clients achieve higher profits, meet goals, and is a sought-after speaker nationwide on subjects of real change, internal business structures, sales, work-life balance, and profitability.

Tami’s family has owned and operated farms in upstate New York for generations. Her Father left farming for the military and later started a successful family business, which moved the family around the country but Tami’s summer experiences on her Uncle’s farm left an indelible mark on her heart for all things agriculture. Over her career, Tami has worked with agricultural companies and organizations of all types helping them strengthen their businesses.

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How to Get Unstuck: September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Do you feel like you're stuck in the same place in your business? Your career? Your life? Not sure which way to go next? Grow the business? Change careers? Take on more responsibility? Sell the business? Grow the team? Shrink the team? Are you looking for the next thing that will restore the passion you once felt for agriculture? For your life? Come learn strategies for getting unstuck from someone who has been there...more than once. You'll leave with tools that will empower you to make the decisions you need to move forward and be successful. Come get your joy back as we work together to get unstuck!

1) Gain skill in identifying the real issues
2) Hear advice from experts and peers
3) Learn strategies for assessing and choosing successful options
4) Leave with tools that will help you decide what's next

**This session is 90 minutes including Q&A

About our presenter:
Tami Forero is a strategic thinker and creative problem solver. As CEO of successful, Colorado Springs-based company, Forté Events, Inc. and Forté Consulting, she has helped small companies, Fortune 500’s, and two countries overcome issues and realize success.

With twenty-eight years of experience, Tami helps clients achieve higher profits, meet goals, and is a sought-after speaker nationwide on subjects of real change, internal business structures, sales, work-life balance, and profitability.

Tami’s family has owned and operated farms in upstate New York for generations. Her Father left farming for the military and later started a successful family business, which moved the family around the country but Tami’s summer experiences on her Uncle’s farm left an indelible mark on her heart for all things agriculture. Over her career, Tami has worked with agricultural companies and organizations of all types helping them strengthen their businesses.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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Our State Fair is a GREAT State Fair!: August 26, 2020

August 26, 2020

Let's have some fun for once! With all of the stress going around and canceled fairs we decided that everyone deserved a break. During this session, we will take a nostalgic look back at the biggest and best State Fair in the country – “The Great Minnesota Get-Together”. On the eve of what would have been the start of the 2020 Minnesota State Fair, Minnesota State Fair Archivist Specialist Keri Huber will be sharing rarely seen historical photos and commentary about the Fair. Following Keri’s presentation Fair aficionados Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC and Cultivating Resiliency Co-Leads Doris Mold and Megan Roberts will lead a discussion on the impact of the cancellation of Fairs on the agriculture community. Fair presentation and Q & A will last approximately one hour followed by 30-minute impact discussion.

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Fill Your Resiliency Toolbox: Using Empowerment Tools, Strategies, and Solutions to Deal with Ag-Related Stress: August 11, 2020

August 11, 2020

New "Tool Talk" Program! During this interactive session, participants will learn about resiliency-building strategies and exercises to effectively cope with ag-related stress. Participants will engage in real-time, in-the-moment, activities that can be replicated in everyday life. This “tool talk” is meant to empower participants in overcoming ag-related challenges and difficulties while increasing feelings of joy, hope, and happiness.

Dr. Brenda Mack, LICSW, is a behavioral health and wellness consultant, trainer, presenter, researcher and Assistant Professor/Field Director in the Social Work Department at Bemidji State University. Brenda worked for twenty years as a program manager, outpatient/in-home therapist and mobile behavioral health crisis responder for a community mental health center in rural Minnesota. Brenda grew up in a farm family in the Red River Valley and is married to a fourth-generation crop farmer.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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Honoring Grief When Making Devastating Agriculture Decisions During COVID-19: June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

During this session, participants will gain information and resources on the impacts of grief and loss. In the time of COVID-19 when farmers and agriculture communities have had to make devastating decisions with livestock, dairy supplies, and sustainability of the farming way of life, it can be traumatic and have a lasting effect.

Hear from farmer experiences and learn tools and strategies to honor your grief and loss and ways to live through that impact.

About our presenter:

Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, LGSW will share the latest best practices and research on grief and healing from grief. Shauna has over 20 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare and cognitive disabilities fields. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, which serves a comprehensive array of behavioral healthcare services to adults, children, and families across six (6) rural and frontier counties of Northwest Minnesota. Shauna grew up on a farm and is well-connected with rural communities.

Megan Roberts is a University of Minnesota Extension educator. Her Extension work primarily focuses on farm transition, farm resiliency, and women in ag. Her most recent research explored farmer emotional and financial wellbeing. Megan is proud to live and work on a hog and crop farm in southern MN.

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Compassion Fatigue in Agriculture: May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

Are you noticing that you are exhausted and emotionally withdrawing from your family, neighbors, clients or customers? You could be experiencing Compassion Fatigue. This can be a common experience for those who work with chronically stressed individuals. During this webinar, learn what Compassion Fatigue is, how to prevent it from happening, and strategies to deal with it if you are experiencing symptoms.

About our presenter:

Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

Complete this registration form to access the recording:

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When is it More Than a Bad Mood? Depression and Anxiety Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth: April 10, 2020

April 10, 2020

The arrival of a new child is one of the most joyous events of life. However, this joy may be clouded by depression and anxiety which are more common than you think. In this session, we will discuss Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) and will cover risk factors of PMADS which include depression and anxiety that occur during pregnancy and after childbirth. You will learn about the signs and symptoms of when to reach out for help, online resources, and treatment options.

About our presenter:

Natalie Reiter is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of North Dakota. She also holds her Perinatal Mental Health Certification, is trained in EMDR, and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Natalie was born, raised, and lives in a state that prides itself on its investment in agriculture and farm life. Growing up amid constant conversations about the importance of rural life has influenced Natalie and her desire to provide mental health services no matter where they are located. This led Natalie to become Board Certified in Telehealth, allowing her to serve clients without the need to leave the farm.

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How to Manage When you and Your Family's Lives Have Been Upended: April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020

Covid-19 has brought unprecedented changes to our lives. Amidst it, all, farms and families have to keep functioning. Are you working from home? Are you helping your kids learn from a distance? Are you trying to farm or ranch through all these changes? Mental health specialist Monica McConkey and agricultural education professor Amy Smith will join moderator Extension educator Megan Roberts to talk about strategies to learn, work, and thrive from home during a spring planting season unlike any other.

About our presenters:

Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

Amy Smith is an Associate Professor of Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota. There, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses and conducts research on school and community-based agricultural education, teacher recruitment and retention. She provides support for developing, new and veteran teachers, encouraging work/life integration in order to avoid burnout. Personally, Amy is a single mom to a medically-complex 9-year-old son, Treynor. While she doesn't have it all figured out, she understands the critical importance of prioritizing things that matter most.

Megan Roberts is a University of Minnesota Extension educator. Her Extension work primarily focuses on farm transition, farm resiliency, and women in ag. Her most recent research explored farmer emotional and financial wellbeing. Megan is proud to live on a hog and crop farm with her husband and young son.

Session host: Doris Mold, Presidents' Council - American Agri-Women, President District 11 Agri-Women

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Tough Times in Agriculture Panel Discussion: March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Join us for an outstanding panel with speakers that have had various experiences related to agricultural stress, mental well-being, and cultivating resiliency.

Panelists include:
• Meg Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and dairy producer
• Mark Koehn, former hog farmer and current agricultural assessor with Stearns County
• Brenda Miller, University of Minnesota Extension Educator in Todd County
The panel will be moderated by Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator and Director of the Rural Stress Task Force with the University of Minnesota Extension.

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I Can't Do This Anymore: When Chronic Stress Takes It's Toll: March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020
Presented by: Monica Kramer McConkey

In this interactive session. we will dive into the difference between stress and chronic stress including the impact of chronic stress on our thinking, emotions, and physical wellness. Learn strategies to implement life changes that will counteract the effects of chronic stress and make your days more enjoyable.

About our presenter:

Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

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Blah! It is Still WINTER!!: February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020
Presented by: Monica Kramer McConkey

Have the darker days and colder temps been smothering your joy? Winter seems to drag on forever. Are you looking for a new outlook but don't know where to start? Join us on this webinar to learn effective ways of managing our emotions during the tough winter months and even early spring for those of us who live on the tundra or for those dealing with MUD season. Learn what signs and symptoms to watch for in yourself and others, discover effective ways to battle the blues.

About our presenter:

Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

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Supporting Farm Youth Through Understanding and Intervention: January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020
Presented by: Monica Kramer McConkey

The farm economy of the last few years has been difficult and destructive for farm families. The downturn doesn’t just affect the financial and emotional well-being of farm and ranch owners; it impacts family members as well. Children and adolescents may be living in tense situations with little ability to make sense of what is going on around them.
Rural communities lack resources for youth experiencing family stress and/or crisis. It is critical that people who work with farm kids develop the knowledge and skills to understand, support, and intervene on their behalf in times of stress.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

Participants will:
1. Learn about the complex and unique personal stressors common in farming today.
2. Learn about the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study, typical developmental milestones in adolescence and the impact stress has on emotional and physical development.
3. Explore relationship-building techniques and interventions.
4. Learn about resources within their communities.

About our presenter:

Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

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New Year, New Farm Goals!: January 10, 2020

January 10, 2020
Presented by: Megan Roberts

Lack of direction can increase stress on and off the farm. A survey of participants in our 2019 Cultivating Resiliency Questionnaire showed that farm transition was a top stressor.

As we start the fresh new year, in this webinar we will talk about strategies to develop more effective farm goals. Our discussion will be framed around the topic of farm transition, but the concepts can be applied to many situations.

About our presenter:

Megan Roberts is a University of Minnesota Extension Educator in Ag Business Management. Her work focuses on farm transition, farm resiliency, and other risk management topics. She holds bachelor's and master's from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate from a joint program from Texas Tech and Texas A&M Universities. Her dissertation at Texas A&M focused on farmer emotional and financial wellbeing. Megan grew up working on her parents' dairy and continues to be actively engaged in farming with her husband's family farm.

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Holiday Self Care, Strategies and Tips: December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier & Monica Kramer McConkey

Do you love the holidays but find them challenging? Do you become Scrooge and say Bah Humbug? While the holiday season can be filled with many blessings, for some it is one of the most challenging times of the year. Whether the loss of a loved one, loss of income limiting your giving or navigating family dynamics, this webinar will give you ideas and tools to help take care of yourself, set boundaries, reap the blessings and find gratitude during the holiday season.

About our presenters:

Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, LGSW, has over 20 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare and cognitive disabilities fields. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, which serves a comprehensive array of behavioral healthcare services to adults, children and families across six (6) rural and frontier counties of Northwest Minnesota. Shauna grew up on a farm and is well-connected with rural communities.

Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

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Effective Communication: A Strategy to Reduce Farm Stress: December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019
Presented by: Megan Roberts

It's the time of year where many farm families and friends are getting together for celebrations. It can be easy to let farm and business discussions creep into family time, increasing stress levels.

In this webinar, we will talk about communication styles, generational differences, and how to engage in active listening techniques. Then we will make the case for why you might want to schedule important business discussions, for example, conversations about farm transition, for another time of year.

About our presenter:

Megan Roberts is a University of Minnesota Extension Educator in Ag Business Management. Her work focuses on farm transition, farm resiliency, and other risk management topics. She holds bachelor's and master's from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate from a joint program from Texas Tech and Texas A&M Universities. Her dissertation at Texas A&M focused on farmer emotional and financial well being. Megan grew up working on her parents' dairy and continues to be actively engaged in farming with her husband's family farm.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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An Introduction to Suicide Prevention: November 22, 2019

November 22, 2019
Presented by: Monica Kramer McConkey

With the current difficulties in agriculture and a particularly difficult harvest season, many are concerned about their friends and loved ones.

Feelings of depression, hopelessness, and frustration are common as well as increased substance use and other negative coping strategies. It is critical that everyone have a basic understanding of suicide prevention as a way to support those around you. This webinar "An Introduction to Suicide Prevention" will cover:
1. The scope of the problem
2. Identifying individuals at risk and how to help
3. How to respond when a suicide does occur

About our presenter: Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field as a child and adolescent counselor, program supervisor, and administrator. Monica grew up on a farm in Northwest Minnesota and has an intimate understanding of the dynamics that contribute to farm stress and its impact on farm families. Monica is very much in touch with the agricultural way of life.

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Grief and Mourning: What you Need to Know: October 25, 2019

October 25, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier

Farmers and agricultural communities experience grief in many ways. In this webinar participants will learn what grief is, how it is experienced and ways to work through the grieving process. Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, LGSW will share the latest best practices and research on grief and healing from grief. Shauna has over 20 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare and cognitive disabilities fields. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, which serves a comprehensive array of behavioral healthcare services to adults, children and families across six (6) rural and frontier counties of Northwest Minnesota. Shauna grew up on a farm and is well-connected with rural communities.

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Navigating Conflict and Tough Discussions: Now What? - Applying tools and Concepts in Real-Life Situations: October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Kristine Ranger

Communication is a key factor in building and maintaining healthy farm/ranch family and agricultural business relationships. Inevitably there will be conflict and when avoided or addressed in a way that escalates the conflict it can lead to breakdowns in the relationships most important in having a successful family and/or business. Simultaneously unresolved conflict can lead to added stress, decreased health and it erodes personal resiliency to bounce back from other life stressors. This webinar will use real-life examples of conflicts within farming & ranching families and/or businesses to demonstrate how to put the tools and concepts from previous webinars into practice. You will be able to leave this webinar and begin to apply skills in promoting positive communication and navigate conflict more easily.

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Navigating Conflict: September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Kristine Ranger

Conflict is inevitable and a normal part of life, however, people respond to conflict in many different ways. Too often, when placed in a stressful situation, our knee-jerk responses can get the best of us and damage relationships. In this session, we will delve deeper into the sources of conflict, including triggers or hot-spots, and other behaviors that illicit productive, unproductive, or even destructive responses. At the end of this part two, you will have skills, tools and strategies for navigating conflict in your everyday interactions.

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Navigating Tough Discussions: August 9, 2019

August 9, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Kristine Ranger

Communication is important in every aspect of our lives. In agriculture, effective communication while farming and ranching is especially important, but sometimes we are reluctant or unable to have critical conversations -- especially when we are dealing with tough topics such as farm transitions, financial situations and family working relationships. Strong communication skills are important in maintaining health, well-being and relationships.

Shauna Reitmeier and Kristine Ranger guided a two part series to learn about communication realities, our natural responses to conflict, and why we communicate and act the way we do when threatened or under stress.

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Who Am I if I Am Not a Farmer Anymore?: July 12, 2019

July 12, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

Brenda Mack and Shauna Reitmeier address the pain and agony that farmers, family members and others in the ag industry go through when major changes happen. Examples include transition and succession planning, getting out of the agriculture business or dealing with significant health issues that change life as we know it. This session may be helpful those in a primary or secondary role in agriculture who are affected by these challenges. The presenters will address issues regarding self-identity crises, feelings of isolation, sadness and hopelessness. The session will include strategies to deal with major changes in agriculture to help cultivate hope and resilience. And, the question of “In addition to being a farmer, who am I?” will be answered.

HANDOUTS:

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Anxiety, Depression and Coping Skills: June 14, 2019

June 14, 2019
Presented by: Brenda Mack

Brenda Mack, MSW, LICSW shares the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression connected to the stressors of living a farming and ranching life. The session will cover risk/protective factors and coping skills/strategies. Case scenario examples will be used throughout the conversation. Participants are encourage to ask questions or share suggestions. Please join the session if you or someone you know is dealing with ag-related stress, worrying and/or sadness and you are looking for practical suggestions to reduce symptoms.

HANDOUTS:

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Suicide and the Agriculture Way of Life: What You Need to Know: May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier, MSW

Death by suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Living in rural areas and being in the agriculture business, brings increased risk factors. This webinar will help you identify the risk and protective factors farmers face related to suicide. It will give you tools and strategies to identify if someone you know is at risk, help you to ask difficult questions and ways to access resources to get additional support.

HANDOUTS:

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Putting It All Together: April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

In this wrap-up session, Shauna and Brenda will summarize the information presented throughout the Cultivating Resiliency series of webinars. Time will be spent answering questions or addressing topics that were not touched on based on feedback from participants.

HANDOUTS:

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Increasing Your Joy and Happiness While Living a Farm Life: March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

In this session, Shauna and Brenda will focus on increasing joy and happiness in your farm life. Self-compassion, random acts of kindness and expressing gratitude are practical ideas that will be further explored to bolster positive feelings.

HANDOUTS:

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Building and Maintaining Relationships in Stressful Times: February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

In this session, Shauna will share the importance of relationships in farming and ranching lives. Ways to initiate, maintain or improve communication with spouses, family members, neighbors and community members will be discussed.

HANDOUTS:

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You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup - How Do You Fill It Up to Support Yourself and Others?: January 25, 2019

January 25, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

In this session, Shauna and Brenda will share how stress, when not addressed, can deplete farming and ranching women’s energy and their ability to effectively keep up with their responsibilities. Participants will learn ways to manage stress and come up with ways to prioritize to keep energy high and meet many demands.

HANDOUTS:

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Self-Care Tips to Help Reduce Stress: January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

In this session, Shauna and Brenda will provide a brief overview of how stress affects our health and well-being. Exploring self-care practices as an option to deal with worrying and stress will occur. Participants will learn about a practical tool to build and implement an individualized stress-reduction plan. The importance of connecting with others as part of self-care will also be addressed.

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Impact of Farming and Ranching Stress for Women 101: December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018
Presented by: Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack

In this session, Shauna and Brenda will define and discuss farming and ranching stress that may be affecting women in agriculture. The presenters will address possible outcomes of excessive worrying and hopelessness. Dealing with stress in healthy and healing ways will be highlighted.

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HANDOUTS:

Meet Doris Mold, Project Lead

Doris Mold is the President of Sunrise Agricultural Associates, LLC, an agricultural consulting firm. She is an Agricultural Consultant, Agricultural Economist, Educator, Advocate, and Catalyst, as well as a farm co-owner/operator. Wearing multiple hats, like many women in agriculture, has informed her of the challenges and stressors that face many in agriculture. Mold leads both the Rural Resiliency Project and the Cultivating Resiliency Project, alongside partners from Annie’s Project, the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Program, University of Minnesota Extension- Women in Ag Network, the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Foundation, and UMASH.

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