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What to do when you’re not passionate about farming anymore

Marjan_Apostolovic/Thinkstock Man staring out window to rural scene.
Anxiety, stress build-up can lead to farmer burnout.

Why did you become a farmer? Think back to the moment you first decided you wanted to be a farmer. Maybe that was at a very young age, or perhaps later in your life. What led to your decision?

Many of us become farmers because we love to grow a crop from start to finish – to care for the ground and plants and see our results in a bountiful, healthy crop. We have a strong passion for farming and producing a great crop.

Paying attention to what we’re passionate about can lead us to a career that we love. For most farmers, a passion for production is what led them into the farming profession. We love to get outside and work the ground. Maybe we enjoy fixing machinery or working with our hands in general. We might love knowing we’re part of a legacy of family farming that goes back several generations.

Hitting the wall

No matter how passionate they are, most people hit a “wall” at some point with their chosen career or activity. Then they feel they’ve lost their passion for something they used to love. This can happen particularly during times of hardship, but could strike at any time.

Someone who has lost their passion for farming might notice any number of negative feelings, such as anxiety, uncertainty, anger, burnout or depression. It’s probably happened to you or someone you know at least several times in their farming career. With the extended downturn we’re currently facing in agriculture, it’s very likely you know a few people who are experiencing this right now.

If we lose our passion for farming, we can also work to regain it. We can start by focusing on aspects like:

  • Why did I decide to become a farmer? Why do I continue to farm?
  • What do I enjoy most about farming?
  • What can I do or where can I turn for help with any negative feelings I’m having?
  • Who can help carry some of the burden as I steer my operation through a very challenging time?

Time and energy

Think about what parts of farming you’re most passionate about. Is it some of the aspects I mentioned earlier? Now what about the flip side – parts of farming you’re not as passionate about? Maybe it goes further than that and you dislike certain aspects. What about dealing with the farm’s finances? The books? Paperwork? Grain marketing plans?

When we’re passionate about certain parts of farming, our time and energy are typically drawn toward those aspects and away from other parts of our business. Because of that tendency, many farmers have noticed a strong pull toward production-related elements – with the result of spending less time or energy on other areas.

This effect often impacts the energy we give to creating and carrying out grain marketing plans – and really taking time to learn the tools available to us. Many farmers have found that working with our advisors can help take some of the stress and anxiety out of creating and executing marketing plans. Get in touch with us to start working on your 2019 grain marketing plan.

 The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Management
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