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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Today we continue our series featuring Missouri Producers and Influencers. Carey Portell makes her second appearance on the podcast. We talk about her journey into public speaking. How she overcame her naturally shy and introverted personality to become one of the more sought after public speakers in Missouri. We also talk about her overcoming her battle with prescription pain medicine after her multiple surgeries following her life changing car accident. Find Carey online at Link to her previous episode on ASOM

Today we kick off our series highlighting Missouri agriculture producers and influencers. Caroline Sicht is a farm girl from Ashland, Missouri who has taken her love for telling others about life on her family farm and turned it into a business. Caroline runs, a site where she is bridging the gap between producer and consumer. We talk about her journey from a college softball player to working as an advocate for the ag industry. Caroline has become a good friend of the show and we are excited for her new podcast!!

Cynthia Martel is an extension agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension who is taking her recent training to the farmers she serves. We talk to her about her different roles around the country from New England to the Midwest to finally settling in Virginia. One thing that is common is we are all facing struggles everywhere. You can connect with Cynthia at Stay tuned to the end of the show to find out an event where I will be speaking at the end of the month.

Today we welcome Jessica Peters. Jessica is a dairy farmer from Pennsylvania who has been very outspoken in her awareness of mental health in agriculture. Jess speaks openly on her social media page about the stresses involved in ag. She has begun a google document called "Our Ag Secrets" where people can anonymously leave their issues in this document. Go check Jess out on line on her Instagram page To access Our Ag Secrets doc click here Check out her blog on Hoard's Dairyman

Today on the show we have the pleasure of speaking to Jeff Ditzenberger. Jeff is a farmer from Wisconsin who has done some extraordinary work in helping to break the stigma surrounding mental health in ag. Jeff has battle with his mental health for a number of years now. After overcoming many issues, he has begun an outreach group to help others like him. To reach Jeff, find him on facebook or send an email to (Apologies for the subpar audio quality. I had a bit of an issue in the initial recording.)

Today on the show we have Michelle Jones. Michelle is a wife, a mother, and a farmer from Montana. Michelle has been very open online about her struggles with her anxiety and depression. She’s taken action to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in ag. She has a comprehensive resource page on her website that is devoted solely to mental health. Michelle is also very active in policy serving in both the Montana Grain Growers Association and on the National Association of Wheat Growers board. We talk to her about how policies are affecting the attitudes in rural America. Go check Michelle out online at

Ben Gotschall is a dairy farmer from Nebraska. We discuss the different anxieties that come from farming full time vs splitting the time between a town job and the farm. We also speak about the stresses facing the dairy industry. Check out Ben at

Today Jason speaks to Dave Pratt, CEO Emeritus of Ranch Management Consultants, the company that puts on the Ranching for Profit (RFP) schools. RFP helps its graduates find the breakthroughs that will improve the health and productivity of their ranches, the profitability of your business and the quality of their lives. Jason and Dave talks about the importance of asking why in ranching business. They speak about how the ranch operation should serve those who work and own it. That having a good quality of life should be of utmost importance to any ranching operation. Dave’s teachings have been a huge influence on our mission here at ASoM, so today’s episode is very special. Link to Dave's book Healthy Land, Happy Families, and Profitable Businesses. in this Podcast: Savory Institute. Revisted:

Greetings everyone! Just a short solo episode this week discussing the importance of gratitude. A short conversation I had with a mom a few weeks ago sparked some serious introspect and thought about gratitude. Gratitude is one of the strongest feelings that one can feel throughout their day. It was gratitude that helped get me through a very stressful week!

* Greetings!! We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas… we know we did!! We have a bit of a late Christmas present for you today! Jason speaks with Lesley Kelly on the show today. Lesley is a wife, mother, farmer, podcaster, blogger, and an advocate for the ag industry from Saskatchewan. Lesley is the co-founder of the Do More Agriculture Foundation, a Canadian non profit organization who’s focus is on combatting the mental health crisis in agriculture. We talk to Lesley about her background in both ag and in working with people and their mental health. Lesley is an amazing woman and a pioneer in working with mental health in agriculture. To find Lesley online, go to To learn more about the Do More Agriculture Foundation, go to