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Heart of Ag: In Times of Stress, Who do You Turn To?

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

by Amanda Radke

There’s no doubt about it, farmers and ranchers live under a great deal of stress. This way of life requires hard work, resilience, constant effort and an ability to pivot and navigate through many factors completely outside of a person’s control such as market volatility and weather.

Add in constant attacks on our ability to own and manage our land and livestock as we see fit, and it’s a heavy burden for producers to carry.

There is no shortage of things coming our way – proposals to measure our emissions in the Godless government grift of carbon capture and climate change intervention; the relentless propaganda coming from animal rights activists; the fact our elected officials, who vote on our behalf, are unfamiliar with where their food comes from and how it is grown; the skewed messaging being presented in schools teaching our kids farming is bad and the list goes on.

In my travels, I talk to countless agricultural families, and they are all feeling this pressure on and off of the farm. 

I recently spoke at a women in agriculture event in Indiana, and one of the workshops was on reducing farm stress. 

As so many do, I carry a heavy weight on my shoulders, and I thought, “Why not? Let’s see what the session has to offer.”

Now, I’m sure the workshop was meaningful to some. There was advice on sleep, diet, exercise and creating a home environment that is peaceful and calm. There was talk of soothing paint colors and plants in offices, using stress balls and practicing mindful meditation.

As I sat there listening though, a few thoughts came to mind. 

The first was, “Is stress really bad? Is it something we should strive to eliminate?”

Calving season is stressful. Planting and harvest season is stressful. Building a business is stressful. Raising children can be stressful at times. Taking on extra community service projects or leadership roles can be stressful. Testifying at the Capitol or fighting for meaningful change in the political arena is certainly stressful. 

The reality is the demands of life are stressful. But what I have realized is anything in life worth doing is hard. I don’t want the easy road. I just want the ability to take on the task joyfully and to find strength to continue to push forward even in the difficult moments. 

It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it. It can either act as an accelerator, a motivator and a driving force to take on things much bigger than ourselves. Or, it can cripple us with fear, anxiety and worry.

So how do you choose one or the other? 

My Christian faith would dictate to me instead of stress balls, fruit smoothies and breathing techniques, I only need to turn to the Bible to give me the answer.

John 16:33 reads, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 41:10 reads, “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

There’s no promise this life will not be hard. It will, and it is. And I suppose it’s due to living in a secular world where it’s not politically correct to talk about our faith that these fundamental truths are left out of the conversation.

If life is heavy for you right now; if you’re feeling lost, aimless or hopeless; if you’re worried about the future; if you’re facing the unimaginable, toss the spinach and turn to Jesus. He is always with you, just waiting for you to lean on Him.

And once you walk with Jesus, you’ll soon find strength, courage, fortitude, joy and peace, even in the hardest of times.

With this, I hope this column brings you comfort and a reassurance we can do hard things, we can face great evils and fighting for our children and grandchildren is worth it. 

This is my prayer for each and every one of you. 

But we can’t do it alone through our own grit and “buck up” attitude. However, we can do anything with Him. 

Amanda Radke is a rancher, author, motivational speaker and podcast host. For more from Radke, visit

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