Farm Women Speak Out About Stress

Editors Note: This article comes to us from the winter 2003 newsletter by the Canadian Women's Health Network, a government agency that has since been shutdown due to budget constraints. While it looks at women in Canada, we're certain that both men and women across the globe can identify with the stress of keeping farms together. Wendee Kubik has continued to do research in this area and we'll be sharing more information in future articles. In an age when we are “stressed-out,” monitor our daily “stress levels,” and talk endlessly about our need to “de-stress,” the connection between stress and health is one that most of us are fairly familiar with. Yet as Wendee Kubik found in her research about farm women’s health, not all stress is created equally. Wendee Kubik, a PhD Candidate in Canadian Plains Studies at the University of Regina, first became interested in farm stress during a part-time job conducting phone surveys with farmers. “When I would ask if there was anything else they would like to tell me about short line railroads, they would just start venting about the stress of farming. That was when I started to realize how difficult farming can be,” Kubik recalls. Kubik eventually turned her observation into a major research project on farm stress, and soon realized that the women were “holding the farms together.” She discovered that women’s roles within the farm economy had changed tremendously in response to the farm crisis. I

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