Coping Better Podcast

Coping Better: Connecting with Our Positive Emotions

A podcast about building positive emotions for farmers, farm families and agricultural professionals highlighted through the voices of those working, living and experiencing the joys and challenges of agriculture.

Episodes (each link below includes episode player and transcript):

#1 Coping & Resilience: Farm Stress

The stress that comes from managing the ups and downs of everyday life in agriculture can be challenging. In this episode Dr. Judy Moskowitz, the original developer of WeCOPE and Dr. John Shutske, Professor and Extension Agricultural Safety & Health Specialist at UW–Madison Division of Extension help us understand how the skills of WeCOPE can help manage this stress.

#2 Harvesting Gratitude

Having things to be grateful for and being grateful are often two different things. In this episode we speak with Beth Smetana, a retired clinical social worker and Brianne Mossman founder of the Will P Project developed after her brother, a farmer died by suicide. They will talk to us about how the smallest, simplest things in life can helps us connect with gratitude.

#3 Evaluating Your Personal Strengths on the Farm

What we are good at and how we can contribute to the broader world  is often a very important way we express ourselves and connect with others. In this episode, we speak with Gene Schriefer, Wisconsin State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, and Dorothy Harms, who is a farmer, active community volunteer, and a member of the Farmer Angel Network. Every situation is unique; knowing what strengths you bring to your life and farm can help you plan for a positive future.

#4 Being Present for a Strong Agricultural Future

Taking a moment to appreciate the simple things in life not only helps us stay safe, but keeps us rooted in the present and allows us to plan for a better, less stressful future. In this episode we speak with Dr. Larissa Duncan, State Specialist for Health & Well-Being at the Division of Extension and Faculty at University of Wisconsin – Madison and David Unbehaun, a Richland County farmer whose family has been on the land for four generations. They explain how a little bit of mindfulness can go a long way in helping to cope with daily life stressors and prevent us from not dwelling on things outside our control.

#5 Cultivating Compassion and Community

Compassion is a powerful way we connect with others – but how often do we extend it to ourselves when we really need it? Not often enough. In this session we talk with Amanda Coorough, Health and Wellbeing Educator, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Division of Extension and Shawn Monson, Program Coordinator, Farmwell Wisconsin, a service of Southwest Wisconsin Community Action Program. They not only share with us why self compassion is so important to our well-being, but they provide examples of how self compassion can be a source of strength in very difficult times.

#6 Growing Towards the Positive

Did you ever find yourself in the middle of your worst day? Sometimes life provides us with moments to respond or react and we have to choose. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Paul Fricke, Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UW Madison and Sue Sharp, the owner of Driftless Life Coaching. Sue and Paul share with us their own “oh no” moments to help highlight opportunities that come when we pause and reappraise situations so that we can respond in ways that help us learn and grow.

#7 F.A.R.M.(ing) a Healthy Future

Big dreams – big goals – long waiting times. Ever find yourself in a pattern of waiting for happiness at the end of another rainbow? In this episode we talk to Joy Kirkpatrick, Farm Succession Outreach Specialist for UW Madison, Division of Extension and Center for Dairy Profitability and Serge Koenig, a Conservation Technician in Sauk County.  Serge and Joy remind us that it’s those small, daily goals that bring us satisfaction everyday and help us feel that sense of accomplishment.

Credits:  Coping Better; Connecting with Our Positive Emotions is a product of a generous grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and is adapted from the original WeCOPE curriculum, a ROTA grant funded program through the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).