Stakeholders Team up for Action in New York Dairy (STAND): A Collaborative Action-Planning Workshop to Combat Toxic Stress among New York Dairy Farmers

J Agromedicine. 2020 Jan;25(1):122-125. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2019.1659202. Epub 2019 Aug 26.


Objectives: Mental health challenges on farms, especially dairies, are increasing. A Future Search workshop was held in December 2018 to develop collaborative strategies for addressing this issue. This brief report outlines the methods used at this workshop and its outcomes.Methods: Participants from eight sectors related to producer wellbeing were invited to participate in the 3-day workshop. This included: male and female farmers, health, mental health, government, agricultural, and dairy-specific organizations, and processors. Together, the group worked through activities dealing with the past, present, and future. These activities led to the development of common ground missions and action steps to achieve these goals.Results: The workshop participants developed goals and action steps to create change in nine areas: peer support and social networks; environment; healthcare; business planning; regulations; milk pricing; marketing and consumer education; education, research and technology; and workforce.Conclusions: Much was achieved during the 3-day workshop. Additional follow-up with participants will ensure that momentum toward shared goals continues.

Keywords: Future search; behavioral health; mental health; stress; whole system in the room.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Dairying*
  • Education
  • Farmers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • New York
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupational Stress / prevention & control*
  • Peer Group