Off-Farm Income


As you all know from listening to the show, I have a very positive outlook on the world of farming and rural living.  I believe that those of us who value this way of life has a lot going for us, and we are very fortunate that our values lie in living this way.  With this in mind, I tend to look at this lifestyle through rose-colored glasses.

Alas, the episodes I produce about rural crime definitely demonstrate to me that not all farmers are looking out for other farmers. Interviews with folks like Jason Medows of the Ag State Of Mind Podcast show me that not everyone on farming operations is living in a state of bliss, overwhelmed by the grandeur of this lifestyle.

Since I have to admit that there are challenges in this lifestyle, the next logical question is what do we do when we need help with these unique questions?  Who out there has the knowledge and understanding to address the specific life and family challenges of farmers and people living in rural communities?

That question led me to today's guest, Elaine Froese.  Elaine is a "farm family coach".  She lives just inside of Canada, above the State Of North Dakota.  Elaine and her husband have been farming for over 40 years, and she has gone through the process of farm transition three separate times during their marriage.

Elaine is possibly the only expert in North America dealing with the familial issues involved in the rural and agricultural lifestyle.  And, she understands it from multiple different perspectives - the son who wants to farm, the daughter in law who married the farmer not the farm, the sibling who doesn't want to farm but feels entitled to part of the parent's legacy, and the retiring farmer.

Throughout the interview with Elaine, two things became apparent to me.  First, she is a considerable expert and extremely valuable to people in this lifestyle.  Second, there are myriad issues in farm families that never really get talked about publicly.  These need to be addressed.  With a rise in farm divorces and suicides, they really need to be discussed.

Thank goodness for Elaine, her expertise, and the books that she has written to help people enjoy this great lifestyle, in spite of the many challenges that can develop.



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