​​​​​​​UW-Extension program aims to support farmers during challenging times


UW Extension

Agriculture is an industry known for hard work, resilience, strength, and supportive community. However, farm families often experience many challenges such as low commodity prices, unpredictable weather, untimely equipment breakdowns, and a narrow window of opportunity to complete daily and seasonal work which often causes stress in the lives of farm families.

With the incredibly challenging financial and emotional situation plaguing the majority of farm families in our communities, UW-Extension Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties will be hosting “Supporting Farmers During Challenging Times: THRIVE Today for Tomorrow” on Thursday, May 16 at Washington County Public Agency Center (333 E. Washington Street, West Bend) or Friday, May 17 at UW-Extension Fond du Lac County (400 University Drive, Fond du Lac).  

This one-half day meeting builds from January’s Supporting Farmers During Challenging Times by focusing on supporting farmers through communication, mental and physical well-being, and crisis prevention. 

As part of the meeting, individuals will be trained and certified in QPR:  Question, Persuade and Refer, a program to help identify key behaviors and save lives through mental health crisis (suicide) prevention techniques.

This meeting is designed to help agribusiness professionals and agency staff feel more comfortable and confident working with families in distress, and to connect with others to provide support for the farming community. 


The agenda for the event includes:

Change: Embracing Option B - Carol Bralich, Extension Family Living Educator, Washington County and Shelley Tidemann, Extension Family Living Educator, Fond du Lac County

QPR:  Question, Persuade, and Refer Certification - Deetra Kajfosz, Director and Founder, Life of Hope and Tammi Kohlman, Coordinator, CSI Destination Zero.

Making the Connection: Communicating with Distressed Farmers - Steph Plaster, Extension Agriculture Educator, Washington and Ozaukee and Tina Kohlman, Extension Dairy and Livestock Agent, Fond du Lac County.

The meeting is open to all individuals wishing to learn more on how to support their farm families and clientele. There is no fee for the program, but registration is highly encouraged to ensure materials.

To register by May 15, visit or contact one of the following county agriculture extension agents: Fond du Lac County Dairy and Livestock Agent Tina Kohlman at 920-929-3180 or Washington/Ozaukee County Agriculture Educator Steph Plaster at 262-335-4477.