Ag State of Mind

Podcast Topic:

  • Business

ASoM focuses on mental health and how it affects those of us involved in agriculture. I will hold conversations with both professionals and producers about addressing mental health in ag and how we can adequately remedy the stresses.

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Alexis Johnson from Farm Tee Company joins me to day to talk about her business and how she started her mission to make high quality apparel that farmers and ranchers could wear and show their pride for where they live. We talk about the pride in loving where you farm as well as the challenges that come with building a brand. Find Alexis at

Guess who's back! It's me. Sorry for the long abscence in recording. I made myself a promise when I started the podcast that it would not interfere with the other things in my life. These past two weeks I've had to put my money where my mouth was. The fair and family vacation was more important than podcasting. We returned from vacation yesterday and I was back to normal today. It made me reflect on how important vacations are for the sustainability of our operation. That without breaks, we begin to spin ourselves in circles. That we are running a poor business if we cannot set it down for a bit.

Over the past week, I've become really intentional about leaving time and space for quiet and still. I feel like I have become where I always need some sort of stimulation. Keri helped me see that leaving space and quiet time in my day is essential to being my best self. I share a bit about that here today.

Happy Independence Day. This weekend I had the fortune to set down with Debby DeSpain and chat about mindfulness. We talked about how she came across my article in Progressive Cattleman by accident, but decided she needed to reach out anyway. We chat about how busy and crazy the lives of folks in agriculture can be and how implementing a bit of mindfulness into daily practice can help us be our better selves. To reach out to Debbie... email her at

Sorry for getting this out a day late. We had an emergency at our house yesterday that resulted in Carter breaking his collar bone. Let's just say the podcast sort of slipped my mind. Today, I'm giving an update on the podcast and some speaking events I have had the opportunity to be involved in. Then I chat a bit about the craze that is social media in the wake of the Roe v. Wade reversal. Although we may disagree with one another, we may still be civil. Lastly, I speak about a new # on Instagram, #AgLetsTalk that allows for folks to share their mental health journey

I've long said that the thing I'm most honored and humbled by as a podcast host is when someone reaches out to me to be on the podcast. This is yet another conversation that started out that way. Camden Calloway is a sophomore at Purdue who is majoring in Agronomy. We sat down today to chat about some of the work he has been doing to advocate for mental health for the next generation of ag professionals. To get in contact with Camden, go to or call him at 765-432-5063

Jake Renner and I have been connected for sometime now via social media and actually had the good fortune to meet in person at CattleCon in San Antonio 2020. Since the early days of the podcast, I have wanted to have Jake on the podcast to discuss his experience in the ag industry and how it has affected him. Jake is currently Member and Youth Activities Coordinator for the American Gelbvieh association. Jake also happens to be an openly gay man. We talk about his experiences as a gay man in agriculture and having to overcome all that can come with that. We also talk about how important it is that we focus on the things we agree on instead of what we disagree on. I consider Jake a friend and am proud and honored to have him on the podcast. Find Jake on Facebook here

"If you want to determine the nature of anything, entrust it to time: when the sea is stormy, you can see nothing clearly." If studying Stoicism has taught me anything it has taught me that it is for the best to take emotions out of decisionsI’m deeply saddened by the events that have unfolded in Uvalde this week. I think it’s important for all us to take the time to let the emotions process from this tragedy. Being a father, I empathize with the families of these children and the loss they have endured.We see so many talking about this event and now is the time for action. Now is the time to put in reforms to make sure the next school shooting does not happen.

Amelia Cottle is an educator and advocate for patients and caregivers battling Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases. We talk today about her work with this and how dementia affects so many people. We talk about the risk factors for dementia and how to possibly mitigate those. This is a very special episode for me as I have had real life experience being a family member of someone with dementia. To reach out to Ameila email her at

eff Siewicki (pronounced suh-wick-E) is a farmer and coach. Jeff started Vital Mission Farm in 2017 to grow food that is healthy for people, animals, land and environment. His mission was to innovate and develop new agricultural techniques that act as a solution to climate change while supporting farmer stability. Through a lot of hard work, trial and error, he figured out the key elements to being successful financially, mentally, and environmentally while farming on small acreage. In addition, to raising pastured poultry and perennial crops, Jeff teaches other farmers how to start and scale up a successful regenerative farm so they too can become profitable doing what they love. He is passionate about regenerative agriculture and believes that small regenerative farms are the key to improving human health, farmer success, and environmental sustainabilyFind Jeff Online at