Meet the Board - Adelle Stewart
1. Introduce yourself! Who are you and what do you do?
I was born and raised in Saskatchewan, and I live on a small ranch outside of Saskatoon. I lived in the city as a child but grew up helping at seeding and harvest on grandma and grandpa’s farm, and as the years went on my entire family migrated to rural living and added raising cattle, horses and the like.
I have spent over 20 years in the health wellness sector, with experience in short and long term disability, bodily injury, insurance, finance, and mental health. The biggest thing I have learned over all these years in this industry is that all of the preceding list, always affects an individuals mental health to some degree. For the past four years my career has been focused on mental health in the workplace and our communities.
2. Why is mental health important to you?
When I speak, I often share a hard truth about myself, in how mental health wasn’t always important to me. Looking back on those days it is near impossible to fathom that was the case, but the truth is I was naive and just did not understand it to any degree. I lost my cousin to suicide in 2014, he had lived with bipolar his entire adolescent and adult life. All those years I didn’t know how to support him, and nor did I learn. I feel guilt over that to this day. When I started my journey in truly understanding mental health, it quickly became a passion and a day to day conversation that shifted my lens on life. Now today, I am better equipped with knowledge, and passionate about spreading awareness to those living through mental illness, and as well, the people supporting them too.
3. Why did you want to be part of Do More Ag?
The opportunity for this position was like finding the perfect cowboy boot… it just fit and felt comfortable from the start. The ability to combine my agriculture lifestyle with my business experience is a niche opportunity that I honestly was never sure would be achievable. I’ve had the pleasure to work along side Do More for the past year, and from the foundations mandate to the founders, it’s been an absolute joy. Now to be a part of the internal team day to day is amazing and I am so happy to be assisting in making a bigger impact on mental health in agriculture.
4. What do you look forward (makes you excited) to as being Executive Director at Do More Ag?
I am really excited for all the opportunity that awaits this foundation, and all the individuals that it touches and serves. We have really just scratched the surface on this initiative and I am touched every day hearing more and more farmers, ranchers and producers make mental health part of their daily conversations. I look forward to meeting more and more of this great community, so together we can unite in talking more, asking more, and listening more.
5. What is your hope for mental health in agriculture?
Our industry is so ready for this. As much as the world is evolving, those of us in ag are still affected by the things farthest out of our control. Other living breathing creatures, mother nature, policy, transport, the list goes on. The world needs agriculture, and as an industry, our best line of defence is a good offence. I hope, and know, that as we continue these conversations, more and more farmers ranchers, and producers are going to start and continue talking about mental health. And the next natural step after talking, is doing. My hope and goal as part of this foundation is to get us all “doing” as expediently as possible, to not only improve, but to save lives.