TVO Speaks With U of G Research Station Manager

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a photo of Kim Jo Bliss on her cattle farm

Kim Jo Bliss

Kim Jo Bliss, who manages U of G’s research station in Emo, Ont., spoke to TVO.org for an article about the mental health toll on those in agriculture after bad growing seasons.

Bliss explained that in her region, west of Thunder Bay, last year’s growing season began with drought and ended with so much unrelenting rain, she and her students were forced to leave experiments rotting in the fields.

“I was feeling stressed here at the research station and at home,” she said, adding that the majority of producers in her area were also stressed.

“I was starting to take on their stress — and I was hurting for them.”

The article noted a U of G survey that found that 58 per cent of Canadian farmers met the criteria for anxiety, including 35 per cent could be classified as depressed.

Do More Agriculture Foundation, a mental-health training organization for agriculture workers, will offer a free, two-day mental health first aid course in Emo later this month.