SPRINGFIELD - SIU School of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development Farm Family Resource Initiative (FFRI) will host a webinar series for women in agriculture and a community forum on succession planning in March.

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Rural mental health specialist Monica Kramer McConkey, LPC will present a series of webinars focused on improving wellness for women who work in agriculture. The webinars will be held virtually each Thursday in March via Zoom. Topics will include the following:

  • March 9: Learning to Love Ourselves
  • March 23: Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships in Times of Stress
  • March 30: Bend Don’t Break: Becoming Resilient

The FFRI is also presenting a series of community forums on succession planning in March, “Planning for the Farm’s Future and Yours.” Wesley Tucker from the University of Missouri Extension will talk about the five steps to transition farm ownership and management, strategies to navigate family and business roles, and how to deal with sensitive issues and family dynamics. McConkey will provide conflict resolution strategies and considerations for generational differences in communication. In addition, Haley Jones, AgrAbility Coordinator of Illinois, will discuss the services and programs provided by Illinois AgrAbilty, Illinois Extension.

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The forums will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Farm Credit Building, 410 Potomac Blvd. in Mount Vernon
  • Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sangamon County Farm Bureau, 2631 Beechler Ct. in Springfield
  • Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 pm at the Spoon River College Conference Center, 2500 E. Jackson in Macomb

For more information and to register for the webinars and forums, visit siumed.org/farm.

There is no cost to the events. Financial support for this series is provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and the Illinois Department of Agriculture in cooperation with USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development (CRHSSD) is leading the effort to build a network of support and resources for Illinois farm families. The purpose of the initiative is to provide a range of resources including a helpline (1-833-FARM-SOS) to assist with farmer and farm-related issues that include mental and physical health needs. Additionally, the initiative offers ongoing outreach, education and training to rural clients and partners working to improve the health and safety of farm families.

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