Transcript of "A Tough Breed"
Transcripts are required for video posted on www.montana.edu. This is the only way to make video or audio content accessible to someone who is deaf and/or blind. This transcript can be converted into Braille, or read by a screen reader.
I guess the thing I like about ranching is just the freedom of being out here and being by yourself. You're isolated late at night; you can lay in bed and listen to the birds, listen to the cows mooing. My name is Justin Furman. I'm a third generation farmer-rancher on my place. I'm 30 miles north of Glasgow, 30 miles south of the Canadian border. I run a small grains operation; we also have a cow-calf operation. Farmers, ranchers, cowboys-- we know we're kind of classified as a tough breed. We take care of our own situations, but there just comes a time when you just need to say hey I might need some professional help and there's nothing wrong with doing that I was a what we maybe you'd like to describe a closet drink I was trying to hide it from my wife there was evidence all around you know I just empty beer cans all around the place you know around the farm I'd hide them and stuff you know just like I said not proud of it subconsciously I probably figured I knew what I was doing was wrong but I guess after I got that initial buzz it just didn't matter anymore [Music] in the Futures market today December Casey want to read out 31 and three quarters at 9 24 March at 9 25 up 31 and a quarter radio is actually the number one media for farmers and ranchers here in Montana 7 out of 10 farmers and ranchers listen at least once a week to one of the radio stations on the Northern egg networks we serve farmers and Ranchers with the information that they need to be successful in including markets and agriculture news and information for the last 40 years Montana has been in the top five for suicide rate across the state I know that's related to a number of different things like our number of veterans our rural nature we're also one of the lowest population density so that creates a lot of social isolation substance abuse problems we have a megaphone that people are listening to on a daily basis and why not use that resource to perhaps change lives and hopefully change the stigma surrounding Mental Health do you ever get beyond the weather with your neighbor ask how they're really doing mental Wellness isn't something we're used to talking about but it's more important than any forecast to be on the weather program is a it's a program that's funded by the Department of Agriculture in Montana the idea is to make access to Mental Health Services user friendly easy and it's free of charge for anybody in the farming and ranching Community the Telehealth is essentially what's nice is now anybody who has either access to Wi-Fi or cell service can really access care it started in April and it went very well and it's going very well in fact the first uh the first day or two we had we had five referrals within I think 24 or 48 Hours people who hadn't had care before are now getting access especially in the eastern part of the state a lot of farmers and ranchers in really rural communities where trying to get Services there's a lot of barriers just from their time stigma but also just their proximity to in-person practices everyone kind of knows everyone to go to somewhere in person that kind of gets out and I think that being able to get Services kind of from your own home is something that helps maybe address some of that the frequent thing is that I've done this my whole life and now I can't I can't feed my family I can't do this and instead of saying hey this is a larger issue because of all these other factors that are going on the individual frequently feels like that's a personal feeling and so that's one of the things that we try to kind of explore and talk about and discuss foreign is certainly with uh with some of the big swings in weather we've seen so for example if there's a drought that has a significant impact on their ability to actually produce and then sell their goods and generate income that creates a lot of stress and anxiety they don't use the words climate change but they definitely talk about how they're under more stress lately how produce prices grain prices are not what they used to be meat prices are not what they used to be because of how difficult it is to grow the same amount of hay or feed or grain [Music] during the time when I was drinking I guess there was just a lot of overwhelming conditions that I you know I I felt I needed to self-medicate to try to maybe deal with those situations number one would probably be the financial aspect of I guess trying to make enough money so that you get all your bills paid by the end of the year type of thing you know come rain or shine Good crap bad crap you know them obligations have to be paid and have to be met there's been years where we've had late Springs there's some years where we've had early Falls it seems to me like they just kind of go in Cycles now do I think it's climate change I I think it's probably something that we probably not have been you know we've been dealing with this since the beginning of time I think I think there's always been climate change I think how we how we elect to handle it and to deal with it you know will be a testament to our to our survival it's a reality and it's one that I think that is felt most strongly by the farming and ranching Community because they're out there trying to build the grow the crops to be able to feed us and those changes are pretty undeniable and I think that the more that we're able to acknowledge hey this is something it's not out of your control we can again normalize those mental health issues we've certainly had some questions where people call in and they're asking what why are you getting involved with this like people just need to toughen up someone said um well my mom used to just tell me toughen up buttercup but we're trying to challenge people to instead of think about that weakness think of it as an opportunity because if your mind isn't running in full capacity then really your farmer Ranch can't either so it's important to get beyond that stigma so that we can be successful our neighbors can be successful and ultimately our industry and our rural way of life can survive [Music] foreign [Music] but I guess what you know what the turning point was is that I I wrecked my pickup and uh my wife had had enough and she said that you know you better get your act together or else I'm gonna take the girls and I'm going to leave because she would have done that she would have taken the girls and laughed so that's that began my journey into sobriety and I went down to Billings and went through their program in 2011 and I haven't drank since when I went through treatment my daughters they were young school girl you know they were young age they were in elementary since I have been sober I've been able to watch my girls grow up into mature and to find young ladies it's one of those things that you know looking back on it it's I mean I wouldn't been able to enjoy it and without being in the place that I'm at right now you know even if me talking about it can help one person I feel I've accomplished something because it's not an easy row to hoe. You’ve got to make your mind up and you're going to be tempted, but it's been a wonderful journey for me.