Thursday Roundtable: Rural Recovery

Recovery in Rural Iowa: How to Support your Neighbor


  • Jason Haglund MS, CADC, Covid RECOVERY Iowa
  • Demi Johnson, MA, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
  • Danielle Day, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach,

Jason Haglund is a fifth-generation Iowa farmer and co-owns the Boone County-based Hickory Grove Family Farm, LLC. Haglund, a behavioral health subject matter and systems expert based in Story City, develops and delivers educational trainings on suicide prevention, mental illness, addiction, behavioral health policy, prevention and youth development.  Currently, Haglund is serving as the Agriculture and Rural Specialty Coordinator for COVID Recovery Iowa, a FEMA response to the increased emotional and expected trauma responses many Iowans will experience as a result of the pandemic.

Danielle Day is a Family Life Field Specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She facilitates learning experiences with professionals and community groups to promote healthy relationships, well-being, quality child care, parenting, and caregiving.

Demi Johnson is a Behavioral Health Program Specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She facilitates the planning, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral health programs for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify additional support systems within their community and recognize the importance of social networks beyond traditional agricultural roles.
  2. Participants will learn strategies to prevent burnout and promote emotional wellbeing 
  3. Participants will learn the importance of mental health literacy 

Stress can be helpful however, long term stress, feelings of hopelessness and being overwhelmed can lead to significant decreases in functioning, depression, and anxiety. The disruption throughout 2020 provides a backdrop to discuss how we might find ourselves a little bit more overwhelmed with day-to-day decisions ultimately impacting ability to connect with our community.  Compounding stressors and uncertainty are a daily reality for most farmers and ranchers, but is it getting worse? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has expanded mental health educational programs to be available at little to no cost to equip community members to better support agriculture producers experiencing mental health challenges and crises. The educational offerings include: “Stress on the Farm”, “Question. Persuade. Refer” suicide gatekeeper training, “Mental Health First Aid”, and COVID Recovery Iowa presentations. During this facilitated discussion,  Jason Haglund, fifth generation farmer and Ag Specialty Coordinator with COVID Recovery Iowa, Danielle Day, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Human Sciences Specialist- Family Wellbeing, and Demi Johnson , Iowa State Extension Behavioral Health Program Coordinator, will share their perspectives on rural mental health wellness, coping with the stressors associated with agriculture, stress management and how to help when you are concerned about someone you know.

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Several resources were shared in the chat during the session: – The North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center’s website has state, regional, and national ag stress resources.  New resources to list can be submitted through that site.

I-CASH has a section of resources, including a printable brochure.

Nearby states include Kansas Stronger Together, Show Me Hope, Nebraska Strong.

Stress on the Farm publication by Dr. David Brown

Iowa Concern Hotline 1-800-447-1985