#1: Introducing the Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture Podcast

In this introduction, we meet Shauna Reitmeier, LGSW and Dr. Brenda Mack, DSW, LICSW.
In this introduction, we meet Shauna Reitmeier, LGSW and Dr. Brenda Mack, DSW, LICSW. We find out why they are passionate about resilience and women in agriculture. Shauna and Brenda join us for the rest of the podcast series one.


Megan Roberts:
Welcome to this session of our Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture podcast, series one. The Cultivating Resiliency Project develops tools for women in agriculture to recognize, adapt to, and develop positive coping strategies to life stresses. This podcast series is developed from our Cultivating Resiliency Webinar series. I'm Megan Roberts, and I co-lead this project along with Doris Mold. In this introduction, we meet Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack, our session hosts, and find out why they are passionate about resiliency and women in agriculture.

Doris Mold: I'm pleased to introduce Shauna Reitmeier and Brenda Mack, and they're going to do self introductions, but I did want to say something about both of them. They're really awesome women. We've gotten to know each other through this process. They both have agricultural backgrounds. We know that that is critical for those of us in agriculture to have people that understand the road that we travel to help us when we're stressed out or need other help. Thank you ladies for being part of the process, and we're thrilled to have you, and look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Shauna Reitmeier: Thanks Doris.

Brenda Mack: Well, good afternoon. Doris, thank you for those kind words. It's just really an absolute honor to be here, and co-presenting with Shawna Reitmeier today. I'm Brenda Mack. I grew up in a farm family from East Grand Forks. My claim to fame in my family is I am one of the fastest dirt chunk throwers, and rotten potato throwers, as I worked in my teen years on the potato piler for my dad, as those potatoes were going into the bin.

Brenda Mack: I'm currently married to a third generation crop farmer. We have soybeans, wheat, and sugar beets, and we live on my husband's family farmstead. In addition to that, I am a licensed mental health professional in the state of Minnesota, and I've had 21 years of experience in providing therapy and crisis response services in Northwestern Minnesota, and particularly in farm country. About two years ago, I accepted a position as an assistant professor in social work at Bemidji State University. That's where I work now full-time, as well as go to school full time. I'm working toward my doctorate in social work. As part of that process, I have dived deeper into researching stress, and burnout, and self-care, not only with the social work population, or the helping profession, but also how can I take this research that I've been doing, and apply that to men and women who are in farming, as well as the general population. A lot of who I am and what I do is largely influenced by my family, the family I grew up in and the family I currently live in. I hope to take some of those experiences and those lessons learned, and share those with you. I am the expert in my life, but I am not the expert in all things stress-related, or all things farming related. I'm just really hoping to start a conversation, and continue to be part of raising awareness about stress, and wellness, and self care practices. That's a little about me, and I'm going to just pass it over to Shauna.

Shauna Reitmeier: My name is Shauna Reitmeier, and I am also from the Northwest Minnesota area. I was born and raised here in Crookston, and grew up on our family farm. We lived right next door to my grandparents. If my parents couldn't find us at home, we were over at grandma's house, probably digging in the sugar cookie jar, or running around and keeping her on her toes. The picture that you see here is of my grandma and my grandpa, [Eldoris 00:04:37] and Marvin. When I think of women and farming, and just knowing the stress that I know they were under, while they never talked about it in that generation, when I think of women in farming, my grandmother is the person that I think of. She really kept it all moving. Doing this webinar series is near and dear to my heart. I spent many years growing up working in the fields, combining, digging, harrowing with the hoe, hoeing out sugar beet fields, just whatever was needed at that time, I spent my time doing that. When I graduated, I went on to get my bachelor's and my master's degree in social work, and have spent the years of my career working in the mental health and substance use arena. I just know what mental health means to individuals and just overall wellbeing, and why stress and worry in our Ag community, where this all connects, so I'm very passionate about rural and frontier life in our farming community, and really excited to bring this information forward.

Megan Roberts: Thanks for joining us on this Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture podcast, series one. This project is a collaboration of American Agri-Women, District 11 Agri-Women, University of Minnesota Extension Women in Ag Network, and the Upper Midwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center, UMASH. You may find the recordings for our entire webinar series on the UMASH or American Agri-Women websites under cultivating resiliency. In the next session we learn about, what is stress?

#1: Introducing the Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture Podcast
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