AgCentric, Minnesota State’s Northern Center of Excellence recently announced the addition of farmer mental health services of Monica McConkey.
McConkey comes to AgCentric with a strong agricultural background and a wealth of behavioral health experience.
McConkey, who grew up on a farm in northwest Minnesota, remembers the challenges that agriculture faced in the 1980s and sees similar challenges today. She has worked in the mental health sector for the past 25 years, both in direct service and administration. Her background includes work with youth and adults, covering a wide range of human emotional challenges that will be a real asset to her new position.
Over the past two years, McConkey has been sharing more publicly on topics of emotional stress with farmers and ag industry groups through her consulting business Eyes on the Horizon. Most recently, McConkey participated in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture-sponsored project, TransFARMation, with her father.
This additional resource for farm families is funded by the 2019 legislative action to grow mental health resources in Minnesota. McConkey will work collaboratively with current specialist Ted Mathews, the Minnesota Agricultural Centers of Excellence, MDA and farm industry groups to reach farmers and their families to support them in times of economic stress.
AgCentric, along with the Southern Agriculture Center of Excellence, leads the Minnesota Farm Business Management Program that will work closely with both McConkey and Mathews. Farmers enrolled in this program have direct access to these resources. Farm Business Management instructors work with farmers on financials, as well as to identify signs of unhealthy stress, depression, and often serve as a catalyst for connecting farm families and these two professionals.
McConkey joins the AgCentric team Oct. 1.
She resides in Detroit Lakes and will focus serving farmers in the northern half of the state. However, she will work closely with Mathews to cover farmers’ needs on a case-by-case basis regardless of geography.
Contact McConkey at 218-280-7785.