​​​DATCP Hosting 'Question, Persuade, Refer' Virtual Training Sessions for Agriculture Service Providers and Farmers​

Release Date: July 17, 2020

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Media Contact: Rick Hummell, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5041

MADISON – As part of its efforts to provide resources to help address farmer mental health wellness, the Wisconsin Farm Center is hosting a series of Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) virtual training sessions for agriculture service providers, farmers, and the agricultural community. QPR is an intervention method designed to help trainees identify and interrupt mental health crisis situations and direct individuals to proper care.

The Farm Center, part of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), will host the first virtual session Wednesday, July 29. Five additional virtual sessions are scheduled this summer through early fall. There is no cost to attend. These training sessions are part of several farmer mental health initiatives funded through Governor Tony Evers' 2019-21 biennial budget.

“Farming is a complex occupation that requires agricultural producers to connect with a wide variety of different service providers such as business consultants, financial lenders, equipment dealers, animal health practitioners, and others,” said Jayne Krull, Farm Center director. “QPR training can help these providers learn how to recognize the warning signs of a mental health crisis in their interactions with farmers and refer them to resources so they can get the help they need.” 

Although there is no cost to attend the sessions, registration is required. To register, go the Farm Center webpage: FarmCenter.wi.gov.

Dates of the QPR virtual trainings are:

  • Wednesday, July 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, Aug. 27, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2:00-4:00 p.m. 

  • Monday, Sept. 21, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

All of the sessions will be facilitated by Jeff Ditzenberger, a certified QPR trainer and agriculture/mental health advocate, farmer, and member of many ag-related organizations.

The Wisconsin Farm Center works one-on-one with farmers and their families during all phases of the farm life cycle, including start-up, growth, financial hardship, generational succession, and retirement. Services are free and confidential. Farmers and agribusinesses can contact the center’s toll-free Helpline at 1-800-942-2474, or visit datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Wisconsin_Farm_Center/index.aspx