Kate - Farmer spouse, Merriwagga NSW

My picture of the struggle in farmer mental health is:

Solo parenting through sowing/harvest/shearing whilst also working four days a week in a management position in town (45km away) so that ONE DAY we can find our way into land ownership. We have three children, one with autism, and it's a constant juggle as we have no family close by to assist day-to-day. The continuous financial stress of farming is suffocating.


Some of the glimmer/joyful moments that reflect farmer mental health for me:

My husband and I are equal parents, regardless of the fact that we both have careers. During sowing/harvest obviously he gets extended leave but otherwise we are both present and responsible for the household chores and raising of the kids. This has been what has kept both of us going mentally, each of us receiving support from the other and knowing that we are both doing the best job we can when it comes to parenting (because really they are the reason we work so hard). Spending time together on the farm, as a family, and knowing that we are both equal in our relationship is the definition of positive mental health for us. It also gives us more opportunity to do farm work together as a family rather than the husband always being out there and the wife being stuck in the house.


A little more about Kate:

We are business partners in a collaborative farming model with other couples. We have worked extremely hard for the equality in our relationship and we are both passionate about the importance of sharing the load between farming couples to improve mental health.


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