Juggling Farm and Family?

Female farmers with children are wanted for interviews as part of a University of Vermont study on child care in farm families. kids potting soilFunded by a USDA-NIFA grant, this study is looking at the ways children impact a farm business and is intended to help develop policy that minimizes the challenges and maximizes the opportunities farm families face when making household-level decisions such as child care.

Emily Stengel, a graduate research assistant, will conduct interviews in November and December. picking beansThe interview can take place in your home or on your farm and will last about an hour and a half. All identities and personal information will be kept confidential.

In addition to individual interviews with farmers, the project hopes to conduct focus groups at conferences this winter, and to reach producers from Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

Interested? Please contact Emily directly at 717-669-1666 or estengel@uvm.edu.

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New Guide to Renting Farmland

For many beginning farmers, leasing can be an affordable way to gain access to productive farmland and associated infrastructure and equipment. For landowners, leasing can help offset the costs of ownership while keeping farmland in production. But how to determine a fair rental rate?

farmscapeUVM Extension’s new How to Determine the Right Farm Rental Rate Guide was developed to support both farmers and landowners through the process of determining a fair cash rental rate for farmland, equipment and infrastructure in Vermont. The same methods might apply to other states in New England, the Northeast, or other parts of the U.S.

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It’s a good thing you can juggle…

JugglingIt’s official. We have arrived at that time of year when you think you can’t possibly do one more thing. You’re exhausted. Your back hurts (not just in the morning now but all the time), the weeds are out of control, something is trying to eat the chickens, and the beef cows seem able to find the smallest weakness in the fence. All those great ideas for keeping the kids entertained during summer break have turned into “has anyone seen the kids this week?” …but then the tractor breaks, or your apprentice runs off with your field manager, or your very pregnant sister-in-law trips over the dog, breaks her wrist and now needs “a little help” around the house.

Yes, it’s a very good thing you can juggle. Multi-tasking may not be a recommended skill but it is one that women farmers must embrace if they are going to survive “the season”. So, it’s good to know that nature has given us an edge in this arena. Women’s brains are a little better designed for keeping multiple items “on the front burner”. But the ability to do something does not mean the activity is not taking a toll on you. Stress builds up over the summer and many of the women farmers we work with begin to feel overwhelmed at this time of year. It’s important to interrupt the cycle of stress before it starts doing lasting damage to your health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life take a few minutes each week to build in a few of these stress-busters:

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Posted in Culture and Society, Quality of life