A Message From Trevor Heck, President of Syngenta Canada Inc.

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We all know that farming is hard work. And, while it can be very rewarding, we also know it includes very real challenges and obstacles, personally and professionally. As someone who grew-up immersed in agriculture and has worked in the sector for my whole career, I have experienced this myself.  To push through the long hours many of us pride ourselves on being tough and resilient, but we’re all human and have vulnerabilities. And, the truth is, admitting vulnerability is courageous. 

That said, in stressful times is when we’re more likely to ignore our own needs. We may forget or choose not to engage in activities or use resources that would benefit our overall health. Taking time to recharge is essential to maintaining not just good physical health, but also good mental health and wellbeing. And, the ability and willingness to being open about our own mental health with friends or family creates an opportunity for them to help you, rather than trying to deal with it alone. 

The power of starting conversations on mental health and wellness is one reason why we, at Syngenta, are proud to partner with and support The Do More Agriculture Foundation. 

We talk about mental health internally, with our employees, because they are our most important resource. Their health and wellbeing matters. And so does yours. Last year, a couple of our employees hosted an event, called Beyond the Farm, which put a spotlight on a couple of ‘beyond the farm’ topics, one of which was mental health. The discussion that took place at the event was a reminder of how we need to care for ourselves and the people around us – our immediate and extended farm families and communities.

We were fortunate to have Lesley from Do More Ag to participate at this event. She shared her personal story, how health and wellness are the counterbalance to stress, how to start new habits and, how making small changes can lead to a happier and healthier life. You can hear just a bit of what she had to say to those who attended the event in this video clip.

There are lots of things to take away from what Lesley shared with the group and what the team at The Do More Agriculture Foundation are doing to champion the mental wellbeing of Canadian farmers, but it all starts with a conversation, a conversation we encourage all of us to have.

Trevor Heck

President, Syngenta Canada Inc.

Do More Ag