Improving Profit and Quality of Life of Farm Couples

Larry Tranel, dairy field specialist
Brenda Schmitt, county education director

Situation
Farm families have identified profit and quality of life as being a major issue due to low farm prices, high farm labor requirements and lack of quality time to set goals and make long-term decisions. This field specialist and CEED identified other issues to incorporate in conjunction with issues relative to the Rural Mental Health Fund and Farm Bureau Grants issues needing attention.

Response
In response to the identified need, these field specialists implemented a “Farm Couple Getaway” in Dubuque in January 2004. Seven couples were able to attend free of charge thanks to grant funding secured from the Rural Mental Health Grant in NE Iowa.

Impact
Seven farm couples attended the Dubuque Farm Couple Getaway and the following depicts the level of knowledge increase on a scale of 1-10. All participants rated the program very good or excellent and one hundred percent also rated the instructors very good or excellent.
DUBUQUE GAIN
1. My ability to understand my spouse’s personality style. Before _3_ After _9_ +3.0
2. My effectiveness in communicating with my spouse. Before _7_ After _8_ +1.0
3. My recognition of signs of farm and family stress. Before _6_ After _9_ +3.0
4. My awareness of what the other gender likes/dislikes Before _6_ After _8_ +2.0
about being a farmer or farm spouse.
5. My perspective of resources/support available to help. Before _4_ After _8_ +4.0
6. My willingness to look at alternative farm methods. Before _6_ After _7_ +1.0
7. My willingness to use planning tools to deal with issues. Before _6_ After _8_ +2.0
8. My appreciation for my spouse and marriage. Before _8_ After _10_ +2.0
(and they filled out sitting next to each other)
9. My awareness of ISU Extension programs. Before _5_ After _9_ +4.0
10. My optimism about planning for the future. Before _6_ After _8_ +2.0
Average +2.4

 

Page last updated: July 8, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu