The Successors is a RealAgriculture podcast series hosted by Kara Oosterhuis focusing on agriculture from the perspective of the up-and-coming generation.
How do you decide when it’s time to act on your true passion? What can you do to get through the cold winter months? Why do you need to learn more about yourself to move forward?
Kristen Kelderman, (virtual) masters student in psychology and neuroscience at King’s College at London, England, helps us answer these questions (and more) in the latest episode of The Successors podcast.
Kelderman, of Carrying Place, Ont., recently decided to follow her passion and take a “pivot with purpose” in her life. She left her agricultural marketing and communications job and decided it was time to pursue the fire that burned inside of her — mental health and agriculture.
The decision didn’t come easy, as these life-altering decisions rarely do, but as Kelderman explains, she knew something was missing, she could feel it coming. She had to evaluate what the feeling meant, and what it was telling her. Eventually, it lead her to exploring how her career could include helping those around her — especially in the agricultural industry.
“People are the heart of our industry, and I think that’s something we sometimes lose track of a bit,” she says.
“Mental health is something we’ve heard more in the last 5-10 years in agriculture, it being talked about in communications, and podcasts, written about in magazines, and such, but it really hasn’t scratched the surface beyond those levels. So I was really finding my own journey in mental health, and I said surely I can’t be the only one here. This is a huge part of our lives,” Kelderman explains. “Farmers certainly have unique challenges. So all of those pieces together sort of led me down this path of searching out what options are out there for further schooling for mental health.”
Although mental health and illness can be difficult to talk about at times if you are in the thick of it, many struggle to ask questions to those around them to help further understand what is happening, and why, says Kelderman. The key start to making these conversations easier, is making questions okay, and creating an environment where we take the time to help others understand.
“If you don’t understand or you’re not comfortable with this whole mental health piece, or feelings, or emotions, ask those questions and have those conversations. We need to support that just as much as the people who are championing it.”
Listen on for a conversation on tips and tricks, the importance of taking some time to yourself, fuelling your fire, and more: