While everyone in Wisconsin agriculture is still holding out hope that room will be found for the remaining 48 dairies and their milk production come May 1, there’s also a looming new reality. What happens IF May 1 comes, with no answers.
Gary Probst, a Rural Insurance agent and a trained therapist, wants farmers and their families to know – dairying is not the end of YOU. Probst says that when he works with farmers, they usually express guilt over not carrying on the family business – disappointing fathers and grandfathers. Probst says one of the first things he tries to get farmers to do is re-evaluate who they really are. “Take a piece of paper and at the top write ‘I AM’ – and then make a list,” Probst suggests. He says if you end up making a list of negative qualities – stop and rethink it. “You know farmers don’t realize all the skills they have. They are running a business,” Probst continues, “They manage people, fix machines, all kinds of skills other people don’t have.”
Probst says unfortunately there’s not many counselors available, especially in rural areas, that can be available to help farm families. “Fight” Probst says. “Farmers will fight for their neighbors, fight for their communities – now they have to fight for themselves and let people help them with their fight.”
Probst’s website is: https://www.hartfordcounselingwi.com/about You can hear his conversation with Pam Jahnke here.
Also – remember the Wisconsin Farm Center Hotline can assist farms of all sizes, and anywhere in the state, work through stressful situations: 800-942-2474.