DECATUR COUNTY, IN — In February, the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce and Decatur County Farm Bureau held an Ag Day Breakfast, bringing together the local agricultural communities for a morning of education. Due to the success of the breakfast, the committee, comprised of GDC Chamber of Commerce Director Dawn Lowe and Marketing Administrator Leah Kane, along with Decatur County Farm Bureau Board of Director President Nick Wenning and board members Sandy Nieman, Veronica Bullock, and Andrew Gauck voted to give a portion of the proceeds back to the ag community through the development of the youth programs, and the local FFA Chapters.
Checks in the amount of $250 were given to all three local schools’ FFA Chapters: Greensburg Community High School, and North and South Decatur High Schools.
Lowe explained, “For this year’s event, we focused on mental health awareness. Industries are being hit really hard right now; our agricultural industry is no different. Input costs are rising, equipment and parts are almost impossible to come by and over time, those stressors weigh on a person. We felt it was important to step away from the common ag topics you might expect to hear about and focus on the farm’s most valuable resource – and that is the farmer.”
Decatur County Memorial Hospital was the title sponsor for the event. DCMH’s own Courtney Wittmer, LMHC, MA-AT opened the morning with local statistics. “It is so important for people to know what is happening right here in our own county. Courtney did a fabulous job of providing local and statewide numbers – while alarming, it is good to be educated on what the needs of our own neighbors and friends are,” said Lowe.
Following Wittmer, the committee introduced a first-generation Ohio farmer, Nathan Brown. Brown holds a lot of credentials to his credit, but his most valuable is that of a friend. Unfortunately, Brown has encountered several friends who have struggled with depression and friends in the agricultural field who have dealt with extreme trauma, heartache, and pain. He now travels all over the United States, giving talks about mental health awareness and providing resources for help, trying to help normalize the trend of reaching out for help.
“Nathan brought a very raw and real presentation,” said Lowe. Through his efforts, Brown has helped many find help and support in dealing with the stress the agricultural field can bring and continues to bring through the hardships of the pandemic.
“We are fortunate our event went over so well and so many showed interest in both attending and backing our efforts through sponsorships, so it just made perfect sense to help support the future of ag through donations to our local FFA programs,” commented Lowe. “It truly is an honor to be in a position to give back.”
The Decatur County Farm Bureau was excited to partner with the Chamber for this event. It brought much-needed awareness to this very real part of farming. Decatur County Farm Bureau Board Member Sandy Nieman said, “My take away from listening to Mr. Brown was – If someone needs to talk, take the time to listen. This is such a simple thing to do to help a friend out. We are looking forward to having a successful 2023 Ag Day Breakfast!”
The Ag Day Breakfast is an annual event and partnership with the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce and Decatur County Farm Bureau. Both organizations are membership-based organizations that support outreach and education for local agricultural communities.
(Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce press release)