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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
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
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
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
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
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 Scientist, 99, 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. Science, 236, 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
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
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
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
Are Farmers and Ranchers Happy? April 13, 2013
Reviews evidence that suggest farmers and
ranchers are happier than persons in many
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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