Michele Payn: How stress impacts your farm and what you can do about it

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In this episode of the Progressive Dairy Podcast, host Kimmi Devaney visits with author and well-known speaker Michele Payn about stress – what it is, how it manifests, how it impacts our farms, and most importantly, what we can do about it. Michele is passionate about agriculture and has connected with a multitude of audiences about utilizing science to connect people across the food plate, in addition to advocacy, mental health and much more.

Here is a breakdown of the episode:

  • About Michele, her dairy background and how she helps farmers [~1:30]
  • What inspired your passion for helping farmers with mental health and stress management? [~2:50]
  • What are you hearing from farmers these days about stress, stress levels and stress management? [~4:40]
  • How has that conversation changed in the last five to 10 years? [~6:40]
  • What does work-life balance look like on a dairy farm and what are some first steps farmers can take if they are looking for more balance in their lives? [~8:45]
  • How do stress and cortisol manifest in the body? [~12:20]
  • What are the consequences of maintaining stress levels that are too high for too long? [~14:25]
  • On the flip side, are there any benefits to stress? [~17:15]
  • How can our listeners recognize if their stress is out of control? [~17:40]
  • What are some of the ways to create a buffer against stress? [~19:25]
  • You recorded an episode with Eliz Greene on your podcast about how overwhelm and uncertainty are two main stressors for many people. Tell us more about this and why these two in particular are so impactful. [~23:00]
  • Why do you say stress management is an essential business practice and how can someone be strategic about either dealing with or preventing stress? [~26:35]
  • You recently developed a growth journal. Tell us about that and how someone can utilize it. [~30:20]
  • What are some resources farmers can access as they incorporate stress management into their lives and businesses? [~33:10]
  • What are some red flags people should be looking for in their friends and family when it comes to mental health and stress management? [~34:55]
  • What else should farmers know about mental health and stress management that we haven’t covered yet? [~37:25]
  • What role does gratitude play in all of this? [~39:05]
  • Rapid-fire questions [~42:00]

Contact Michele Payn

Website: causematters.com

Email: mpayn@causematters.com

Social media: @mpaynspeaker

120 episodes