Farming is a noble and essential occupation, a profoundly spiritual way of life.
Ag Behavioral Health

Farm and Ranch Columns
Previously published columns by Dr. Mike Rosmann that appeared in various agricultural publications may be purchased. Iowa Farmer Today publications, which syndicates the Farm and Ranch Life column, allows Dr. Mike Rosmann to own the columns and to make them available for resale thirty days after they have originally been printed.  

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Name of Column                                                                             Date of Original Publication  

Reflections on Attachments to People, Land                                         April 7, 2012                                                    
  How relationship attachments can
  influence us positively or negatively.

Picking Beans Can Resemble Life                                                           April 14, 2012                                                              
 Meditation is important for managing
 our lives. Farm and rural people have
 many opportunities where we can do 
 our best meditating.

Managing Ourselves Through Quiet Reflection                                 April 21, 2012                                                      
 It is less important where we meditate 
 than how we meditate. Meditation is 
 particularly important to busy farm people.

Having Two Gardens Doubles the 'Fun'                                                April 28, 2012                                                    
 Humorous account of gardening by the
 author and his wife.

Did We Learn From the Last Farm Crisis?                                             May 5, 2012                                                 
 We are entering another phase similar to 
 the 1980s Farm Crisis. What did we learn from
 that era?

Depression Common for Farm People                                                May 12, 2012
 Looks at factors that contribute to a high 
 incidence of depression among farm people.                        

Suicide - Permanent End to Temporary Problem                                May 19, 2012
​ Examines why suicide occurs frequently among 
 famers and resources for dealing with suicidal behavior.
Are Farmer Online Dating Services Helpful?                                      May 26, 2012
​ Takes a look at websites that offer online dating 
 services for farm people.

Tips On Recognizing and Dealing With Depression                          June 2, 2012
​ Offers useful behavioral health tips for dealing with depression, 
 a common problem among farm people.

World Travel Offers New Perspectives                                              June 9, 2012
​ The author reports on a recent trip to Spain, 
 especially its health services and agriculture.

PTSD: A Survival Mechanism Gone Awry                                         June 16, 2012
​ Explains how PTSD develops.  

Healing Military Vets' PTSD Starts with Understanding                   June 23, 2012
 Provides information about managing PTSD, especially  
 among returning veterans and farm people.​

How Many Shoes Do We Need?                                                           June 30, 2012
​ Tongue-in-cheek account of some 
 of the author’s experiences with shoes.

Weathering Farm and Ranch Disasters                                               July 7, 2012 
  Explains stages of adjustment to disasters 
  of all types, especially those affecting people 
  in agriculture.                     

Droughts Take Toll On Our Hopes                                                       July 14, 2012
 How drought stresses farm people and
 what we can do to cope.

So You Think You're A Farmer? Take the Quiz                                   July 21, 2012
 Challenging and humorous quiz for people to see 
 how much they know about farming.

Core Beliefs Essential to Farmers                                                     July 28, 2012
​  People with a set of guiding principles 
  and beliefs are able to endure rough
  times better than persons who lack
  solid core belief systems.  Farmers,
  in particular, need beliefs which inspire
  hope and faith.  

Report on the First Four Months                                                       August 4, 2012
 Looks at relationship issues, with
 family and to the land.                                                              

What is the Definition of a Farmer?​                                                  August 11, 2012
 Takes a look at personality traits 
 associated with success in farming and                     
 how these behavioral traits are 
 characteristic of a drive to farm called
 the Agrarian Imperative. 

Successful Farmers Take Risks, Share Wisdom                             August 18, 2012                                
 Why do people farm? This article reviews research 
 that suggests a genetically encoded drive called the 
 Agrarian Imperative. Personality characteristics of 
 successful farmers are consistent with this model.

What Happens After the Affair?                                                       August 25, 2012
​ This column examines extramarital 
 affairs, divorce and recommendations
 for dealing with these matters.

Vacations, Recreation Important For Farmers                               September 1, 2012
​ Vacations and adequate appropriate recreation
 are investments by farmers in themselves.
 The author learned this the hard way!

Tips for Dealing with Drought-Related Stress                               September 8, 2012
 Drawing on recommendations from a colleague,
 Dr. Bob Fetsch, this column offers suggestions
 for coping with the drought that is affecting much
 of the country this year.                                                                                                             

Estate Settlements Reveal Family Issues                                      September 15, 2012
​ Nothing brings out unresolved issues among                           
 family members like settling a family farm estate.
 This column looks at why this occurs and 
 how to deal with these issues.

False Accusations Can Build Character                                          September 22, 2012
 We can acquire character and improve                                                 
 ourselves when others make false 

Reducing the Impact of Divorce                                                     September 29, 2012
​ Divorce by farm couples is usually more
 complicated than for non-farm couples
 because farming assets must be 
 distributed.  This column offers ways
 to reduce the impact of divorce on farming.

Farm People Seek the Right Healthcare                                        October 6, 2012
 Farm people often seek healthcare providers
 who have an understanding of agricultural                
 issues.  This column lists farmer-friendly 
 telephone hotlines, websites and information
 about national legislation.   

Competent Widows Carry on with Farm                                         October 13, 2012                                                            
​ Many widows choose to continue the farm                                             
 operation, which requires much courage and
 the help of others.  Increasingly, women are
 engaged in agriculture. 

Hunting Adventure Yields Priceless Lessons                               October 20, 2012
​  A humorous account of a hunting adventure and
  the repair of a mishap.

Five Documents Every Farmer Should Have                                 October 27, 2012
  Reviews the purposes and important information
  in a will, advance healthcare directives, POAs
  for healthcare and business decisions, a letter
  of instruction and related matters.                                                                                   

Many Veterans Turn to Agriculture                                                 November 3, 2012
​  This column offers ideas to the 
  disproportionate number of military 
  veterans who originate from rural areas
  and who want to carry on later with 
  agricultural endeavors.
Gardener's Great Rutabaga Experiment Falls Flat    ​                   November 10, 2012
   Humorous account of how the author concludes 
   that rutabagas aren't for everyone.                                      

Jealousy, Chronic Resentments Hurt Farm Families                   November 17, 2012
  Farm families seem to have difficulty handling jealousy 
  because of a drive to acquire land and because of 
  sibling rivalry.  This column offers recommendations.

Farmers' Behavioral Health Affects Herd Health                          November 24, 2012
  A recent research article detected relationships 
  between farmer's stress levels, behavioral health and
  the health of their dairy herds.

Hunter Decorum Important to Farmers                                          December 1, 2012  
  This column is about proper hunting etiquette.  As a
  land owner and hunter, the author experiences both
  sides of the issues.       

Holidays Bring Out Best in Farm People                                        December 8, 2012    
   The holiday season leaves most farm people to 
   reflect as well as to celebrate.  Customs in some 
   farm amilies are particularly meaningful.           

Rural Residents Lack Access to Quality Healthcare                     December 15, 2012
   In comparison to urban residents, rural residents have
   higher needs for healthcare, especially behavioral 
   healthcare, but reduced access.  The author also
   explains portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Gardener Continues Rutabaga Experiment                                  December 22, 2012   
​   Humorous account of the author's experiment 
   growing rutabagas.

Crop Production Provides Roots of Ag                                         December 29, 2012                                        
​   The first of three columns about the development
   of agriculture and its implications for modern
   society and behavior.  This column traces
   crop production.

Roots of Agriculture: Animal Production                                       January 5, 2013    
   The second of three columns about the development
   of agriculture and its implications for modern 
   society and behavior.  This column traces livestock

Agriculture Affects Human Nature                                                January 12, 2013  
   This is the third article in a series about how 
   agriculture has influenced modern society and
   culture.  This column indicates how agriculture
   affects human behavior.  

Bibliography for Roots of Agriculture Columns
   Derr, M. (2011).  How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends.
   London: Penguin Books.

   Diamond, J. (1997).  Guns, Germs and Steel.  New York: W.W. Norton.

   Montgormery, D.R. (2007).  Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization.  Berkeley, CA:
   University of California Press.

   Shea, J.J. (March - April 2011).  Refuting a Myth About Human Origins.
   American Scientist99, 128-135.

   White, T.D., Asfaw, B., Beyene, Y., Haile-Selassie, Y., Lovejoy, C.O.,
   Suwa, G., WoldeGabriel, G. (October 2, 2009).  Ardipithecus ramidus
   and the Paleobiology of Early Hominids.  Science236, 64.

  Dairy Farms Face Serious Stress                                                    January 19, 2013
    This column suggest strategies stressed dairy 
    producers can use. 

What Lincoln Taught Us About Health                                              January 26, 2013    
   How President Lincoln dealt with his lifelong depression
   is instructive to us today.  ​

 Flexible Roles Help Farm Families Cope                                        February 2, 2013   
   This article explains how farm couples who exchange
   roles are better able to deal with stress.

Census Reveals Many Faces of Agriculture                                   February 9, 2013
   The census of agriculture, taken every five years,
   helps agricultural entities and government plan for 
   the future. 

Help Available for Domestic Violence Situations                          February 16, 2013  
  This article is about how help can be obtained to deal
  with the special challenges of domestic violence in 
  rural areas.

Managing Family Farm Conflicts                                                     February 23, 2013 
​  Siblings and other farm family residents who work
  work together in the same operation often have 
  intense competition and conflict.  Explanations
  and suggestions are offered.

Family Meetings Best Run With Respect                                      March 2, 2013    
​  This article provides guidelines for operating
  farm business meetings effectively. 

How Much Do You Know About Ag?                                             March 9, 2013
  Enjoyable quiz about agricultural matters.

Genetics, Not Industrial Food, Might Have Biggest                  March 16, 2013
Influence On Obesity
 The article looks at factors that contribute to the
 growing problem of obesity in the U.S. and around
 the world.

Respectful Communication Key to Good 
Relationships, Partnerships                                                       March 23, 2013     
 This column dissects hidden messages in our
 communications and offers tips for communicating

Bad Things Happen to Good Farmers                                       March 30, 2013     
 Discusses how farm people and others can
 turn unwanted circumstances into opportunities
 for self growth.  

Fishing, Farming with Women Can be Competitive                April 6, 2013         
​ The author reports several humorous events with the
 opposite sex.

Are Farmers and Ranchers Happy?                                          April 13, 2013        
 Reviews evidence that suggest farmers and 
 ranchers are happier than persons in many
 other occupations.

Fears, Panic Weigh on Farm People                                       April 20, 2013  
 Examines factors that contribute to anxiety

How to Manage Anxiety Problems                                           April 27, 2013   
​ Provides useful information to help people 
 manage anxiety problems.

Excess Alcohol Affecting Farm Families                               May 4, 2013 
 Provides information about how farmers and
 ranchers sometimes use alcohol to numb pain,
 both physical and psychological, making its use
 a problem for their safety. 

In Moderation, Alcohol Has Its Benefits                                May 11, 2013   
 As the title suggests, this column is about
 the health benefits of alcohol.

Ag Health, Safety Landscape Changing                               May 18, 2013  
 Changing priorities for funding are occurring 
 at federal and state levels, affecting 
 safety and health.   

Alone Time Brings Opportunity for Trouble                        May 25, 2013  
 Funny account that relates how the author got
 into trouble without adequate supervision. 

Weathering Storms Can Strenghten Farmers                     June 1, 2013  
 Inclement weather tests farmers' endurance but
 faith in a higher power provides strength to make 
 us better farmers.

Skeptical View of Media Bias Needed                                 June 8, 2013  
 Examines how the media have strayed from
 accuracy and recommends updating their 
 ethical code as well as offering how to make 
 sage determinations of truth.

Employment Vital, Especially for Farm People                   June 15, 2013
 Explores the effects of unemployment on 
 behavioral health.

Humans Take Natural Cues from Animals                         June 22, 2013 
 Relates behaviors humans and animals have
 in common and what we can learn from animals.

Compassion Fatigue Normal for Caregivers                    June 29, 2013 
 Discusses hw caregivers can become overwhelmed
 with giving help and ways compassion fatigue can
 be remediated.

Outdoor Enjoyment Faces Modern Time Crunch            July 6, 2013  
 Explores why Americans are spending less time
 outdoors, including farmers.

Farm Families Reflect Changes to Modern U.S.              July 13, 2013   
Family Structure 
 Like the title says, families are changing, with more
 sharing of roles by the parents. 

Are Farmers the Biggest Risk Takers?                            July 20, 2013 
 Farmers are more likely than persons in other
 occupations to take risks, at least partly due to
 the concentration of risk-taking behaviors in 
 the genetic make-up.

Fairs Draw Farmers, Ranchers with Nostalgia,              July 27, 2013                   
 Offers insights into the history of fairs and 
 their purposes.

How Much Do You Know About Ag?                              August 3, 2013    
 Another challenging and funny agricultural 
 quiz for readers.

Local Foods, Variety Benefit Consumers                      August 10, 2013     
in Many Ways
 Describes advantages of local food
 productions for consumers and marketers. 

Farm Bill Should Protect Farmers'                                 August 17, 2013    
Behavioral Health
  The new Farm Bill should protect the
  behavioral health of the most important resource
  for producing food, fiber and renewable fuels:the
  people involved in agriculture.

Do Some Farmers Push Too Hard?                               August 24, 2013 
 Deals with farmers' urges to overwork.   

Alzheimer's Disease Might Have 'Rural' Connection    August 31, 2013  
 Explores what is known about Alzheimer's disease.

Farmland Changes Affect Well-being                            September 7, 2013  
 Takes a look at uses of land in the U.S. and 
 strife that can occur in the competition for 
 productive farmland. 

Stress an Issue as Farmers Age                                    September 14, 2013  
 As farmers age, stress becomes more difficult 
 to manage, and sometimes putting too great a 
 load on their successors.

Can Affordable Care Act Benefit Farm,                        September 21, 2013   
Rural Residents?
 Discusses how the Affordable Care Act,
 for which sign-up begins on October 1, 2013, 
 can affect farm and rural residents.

Becoming a Grandpa Again (And Again)                    September 28, 2013     
 Light-hearted account of the author becoming 
 a grandfather twice in five weeks.

Lessons from Working with Cattle                              October 5, 2013   
 Light-hearted account of experiences
 working with cattle.

Farmers Biggest Challenge Can Be                           October 12, 2013 
Managing Themselves
 This column examines self-defeating
 behavior problems (heavy drinking,
 extramarital affair) of two farm people 
 who consulted the author and why they 
 need to trust other more sound judgments.  

Self-discipline Key to Farming Success                   October 19, 2013   
 Recent research points to gentic and learned
 factors in self-discipline.  Self-discipline is 
 linked to success in life in general and to 
 successful farmers in particular. 

Changes Ahead for Farm Economy                           October 26, 2013     
 Analyzes the recent decline in graind and 
 oilseed prices after land prices skyrocketed
 and looks at what lies ahead for marginalized 

Dealing with Unexpected Stresses                           November 2, 2013   
 The article indicates how the brain processes 
 input that is disturbing and what we can do to
 defray upset.

Recognizing Rural America's Military                       November 9, 2013  
 Many veterans, especially those with PTSD,
 find serenity in the outdoors and experience 
 healing as a result of their agricultural activities. 

Farm Bill SNAP Cuts Must Weigh Fraud,                 November 16, 2013  
Nutrition Needs
 This article offers information about food 
 stamps, which are being considered in the 
 new Farm Bill.

What Would MacGyver Do?                                      November 23, 2013  
 Inventive solutions to problems can help

Give Thanks for Native American Agriculture,      November 30, 2013  
Land Conservation
 Explores how Native American culture embodies the
 "agrarian imperative" in different ways than the 
 ownership culture of Europeans and many Asians.

Resentfulness Curable in Farm Families               December 7, 2013   
 Discusses how successful farm family members 
 often quarrel and how to reduce their resentments.

What Does the Future Hold for Ag?                       December 14, 2013       
  Offers perspectives from various experts
   about the nearby future for agriculture.

What Lies Ahead for Agriculture?                          December 21, 2013    
  Building on the previous column, this one
  presents the author's opinions about what 
  lies ahead for agricultural producers.    

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to Readers     December 28, 2013   
  The author reviews the feedback he received 
  over the past year and points out the need for 
  behavioral health specialists who understand 

Hunting, Fishing Important to Ag                            January 4, 2014
  Explains how hunting and fishing skills were
  formative to the development of agriculture.    

How culture Affects Our Communities                   January 11, 2014  
  Describes how admired persons who are
  "keepers of the culture" set the social norms
  of a community.

Childhood Traumas Affect Adult Lives                  January 18, 2014     
  The article relates how early traumas
  affect later development.

Rural Healthcare Improves                                      January 25, 2014     
  Reviews evidence of improvements in
  rural healthcare but also signals that 
  poor rural residents fare worse.

Columnist Recalls "Famous" Bear Story                February 1, 2014  
  The author recounts the story of a "repeat
  offender bear."

Mountain Lions Move East                                       February 8, 2014  
  The author reports on mountain lion 
  expansion into the eastern half of the U.S.,
  and personal evidence of their expansion.

Canadian Ag Similar to U.S.                                       February 14, 2014  
  Reports on Canada's AgDays exhibition 
  and happenings in Canadian agriculture