February Trailmarker

Monthly Trailmarker: Steph Schmidt Farm Life Psych

Gone are my days at the beach, and here are the days of office work, crutching, being on time for school pickups, and grocery shopping. It takes a bit of time to click back into the routine, but then again, routine gets thrown out the window frequently anyway. One day at a time, one moment at a time!

TL;DR (The important stuff if you don't read the rest)

- February Livestock SA Wellbeing Sessions for Livestock Agents & Producers in South Australia - Sign up here

- Farm Life Wellbeing Check-In - A short self-assessment to check in with your wellbeing on the farm. www.farmlifewellbeing.com.au

- Surrender and Embrace - on hold for now! But helping rural women navigate the juggle of farm, family and life continues to be my North Star.

What's been keeping me busy?

Holidays kept me busy for seven days in January (what a paradox), and it was bliss. The 14th year of a post-harvest beach holiday to Elliston, and it was bliss. I promptly forgot about all the things I was 'supposed' to be thinking about - the true sign of a good holiday!

Apart from that, it was shearing, mustering, and fixing a bore in 35 degree heat... none of which sounds particularly 'wow', although there were certainly moments where I was able to stop to think how lucky I am to be in the situation I am. Before school returned on Monday, I had a bittersweet moment of reflection, realising the privilege I have to work alongside my husband and kids on the farm.


What's Coming Up?

I'm excited to be partnering with Livestock SA to run 6 FarmFlex: Foundations of Wellbeing workshops for livestock agents and producers. These sessions will be happening later on in February. These events are free, however registration is essential. Click here for more info, or else head directly to the links below to register.

FarmFlex Social Tile

Here's my pitch to producers to come along: you'll get a free dinner!!!

(Plus, you'll also learn some key tools to improve your wellbeing on the farm, and support those around you)

For Producers:

Clare: 14th February 5:30pm to 8pm - Register Here

Murray Bridge: 21st February 5:30pm to 8pm - Register Here

Naracoorte: 22nd February 5:30pm to 8pm - Register Here

For agents:

Clare: 14th February 10am to 11:30am - Register Here

Naracoorte: 23rd February 8am to 9:30am - Register Here

Murray Bridge: 22nd February 9am - 10:30am Register Here


As I take time to settle back into the farm, family and life juggle - I'm focusing on my 2024 word of the year Embrace. Consciously choosing to embrace what my juggle of farm, family and life looks like - and how I can best work and serve you, within that. For now, that means Surrender & Embrace Coaching Program is on hold. 

However, changing the picture of farming mental health, helping farming women to navigate the juggle of farm, family and life, and find joy and contentment in that life - all of that - continues to be my North Star. Whether it's a program, podcast, or book - watch this space for when the ideas bubbling below the surface make their way to the top.

Speaking & Workshops

An exciting event is coming up in May - I might even need to buy myself a new Akubra (as my old one has been commandeered by my 10 year old).

A few bookings are pencilled in for March and August.

Given the farm life bookings which are already booked in my diary (Seeding - April-June, Shearing - July/August, Harvest - November/forever), the best time to enquire about booking me in for your event is NOW. Click below and let's chat.

Work with me in 2024

What's Happening on the Farm?

Harvest finally finished up in early Jan, and now we're into crutching. You could argue that my boys work harder on school holidays than when they're at school, but they have assured me they love it (as exemplified by their dissatisfaction at having to go to school during shearing).

Now that school has returned, I tend to get a bit more time in the office while my husband travels to our other farm during the week to catch up on summer spraying. However, there is always water to be checked, sheep to be shifted, and the occassional tractor to be cleaned on the spur of the moment.

What I'm Reading, Listening To, Thinking About

What I'm Reading: Thanks to joining the Birds of A Feather Bookclub for 2024, my fiction reading list for January is quite epic. Lola in the Mirror - Trent Dalton (absolutely heartbreaking and glorious); Yellowface - R.F. Kuang (An uncomfortable read, that hooked me to binge read it in one night); The Things That Matter Most - Gabbie Stroud (again heart-breaking, and a vital read as we all go back to school); the things we cannot say - Kelly Rimmer (Personally touching as it reflected closely my own grandmother's experiences); Our Missing Hearts - Celeste Ng (wonderful, thought provoking read)

What I'm Listening To: I have actually been enjoying just listening to music, mainly pop, because a little sugar on top never hurt anyone. I've also discovered that I can listen to my Substack subscription newsletters, so I've listened through quite a few of "Provoked" by Todd Kashdan, one of my favourite psychologists, for deep thinking reflections and lessons on wellbeing. 

What I'm Thinking About: As I touched on above, as I continue to navigate my own juggle of farm, family and life, I find myself reflecting on how I can share these lessons and learnings with others. A podcast and a book are strongly on the cards at the moment. Fridays are "book days" in my mind, so I'm excited to dive in tomorrow. I'm also thinking about how I can walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. For me, one of the most important ways to do that is to actually check in with myself and how I'm travelling. I created the Farm Life Wellbeing Check-In so that you can do the same. (If you have read this far, make sure you take 5 minutes now to gift yourself a check-in HERE

Farm Life Wellbeing Check-In - A short self-assessment to check in with your wellbeing on the farm. www.farmlifewellbeing.com.au

That's more than enough of an update for now. If you are in South Australia, I hope I can meet you in person at one of the upcoming Livestock SA events, and please share the word for me.

Take care of YOU,

Steph x


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