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Women in agriculture discuss mental health

Women in agriculture discuss mental health  (Jake Manuel Brasil KMVT/KSVT)
Women in agriculture discuss mental health (Jake Manuel Brasil KMVT/KSVT)(KMVT)
Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 4:34 PM MST
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The college of southern Idaho became the setting for this year's eighth annual Women in Agriculture Conference.

Saturday was a day of laughter, as well as a day of tears, as women from across the Pacific Northwest gathered to discuss the stress that comes with being a part of a farm.

says, workers in the farming, fishing and forestry industries have some of the highest suicide rates of any professional group.

KMVT spoke with Jennifer Westendorf who is a farm owner and conference attendee, who said how every year on the farm comes with uncertainty.

"Farming can be a lonely life, so you have to make choices to take care of yourself, and have relationships and fight that loneliness and that isolation," Westendorf said.

Westendorf said that no matter what their role is on the farm, it is essential to become educated on the best ways to mentally handle the demand of farm life.

"You know you think of yourself as just the wife, you are a part of that operation, seek these things out, make friends, and find out what you can do to bring that happiness to your home and be a better partner," she said.

As the the conference progressed, Ashlee Westerhold the conference host, hopes the participants will get a chance to network and build relationships with fellow women who are also part of the agriculture industry.

"Women haven't always had a place at the table when it was coming to agricultural, and now they are finally feeling empowered, and we are just trying to build on that momentum of women taking over large agricultural cooperatives or agricultural business," Westerhold said.