The farm economy of the past few years has been difficult for farm families. The downturn doesn’t just affect the financial and emotional well-being of farm and ranch owners.

It affects all family members – including kids.

In response, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is offering a free, three-hour workshop that provides an overview of the stressors unique to growing up on a farm. The workshop will be offered in the area July 22 in Willmar from 9 a.m. until noon. 

The workshop is entitled “Supporting Farm Youth through Understanding and Intervention.”

“Farm kids may be living in tense situations with little ability to make sense of what is going on around them,” said Monica McConkey, a licensed professional counselor, who will teach the workshops. “Adults need to know the signs and symptoms of farm youth stress, so they can help kids cope.”

The MDA encourages teachers, school counselors, school administrators, 4-H leaders, FFA advisors, youth pastors, social workers, mental health professionals, health care professionals and others who work with farm youth to attend.

All participants will receive certificates of attendance, and several organizations have approved continuing education credits. Space is limited.

To register, visit supportingfarmyouth.eventbrite.com, or call the MDA at (651) 201-6012.

This workshop is supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the North Central Region SARE program.

To learn more visit www.mda.state.mn.us.