BROOKINGS — The SDSU Extension Rural Behavioral Health Team is partnering with the South Dakota Counselors Association (SDCA) to host a three-day South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit Sept. 23-25. The Summit will be held at the Arrowwood Cedar Shore Resort & Conference Center in Oacoma.

The purpose of the Summit is to provide the agriculture community with information on working through individual stress and how to provide support to individuals dealing with stress. Farmers and ranchers, as well as those in support positions such as counselors, bankers, consultants, clergy, crop insurance agents and other business members are encouraged to attend the Summit and engage in conversations that will strengthen South Dakota communities.

Day 1 will feature a nationally recognized keynote speaker, Michael Rosmann, president of Rosmann and Associates and Executive Director of Agri Wellness, Inc. SDSU Extension’s workshop for producers, "Weathering the Storm" will accompany several other breakout sessions throughout the day as well.

Day 2 will provide tools for counselors, agri-businessmen, and community members on how to recognize and aid those in the agricultural community experiencing chronic stress. A workshop, "Communicating with Farmers Under Stress," will be provided by SDSU Extension specialists.

Day 3 will focus on an eight-hour training, Mental Health First Aid, for individuals across our agriculture and community landscapes. Mental Health First Aid training is an evidence-based public education and prevention tool to improve the public’s knowledge of mental health and substance problems and connect people with care for their mental health or substance use problems.

For any questions about the Summit, contact:

• Dr. Krista Ehlert, SDSU Extension State Range Specialist, by email at krista.ehlert@sdstate.edu or 605-394-2236;

• or Dr. Andrea Bjornestad, SDSU Extension State Mental Health Specialist, by email at andrea.bjornestad@sdstate.edu or 605-688-5125.

Register online for the Summit at extension.sdstate.edu/events and search by South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit.

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