The Mental Health Benefits of Farm Work

Within our western culture, society consistently paints a corporate picture which promotes the idea of happiness. With annual salaries being the main focal point which can seemingly benefit an employee’s lifestyle and thus, their Mental Health, it has become less recognised that a particular occupation can, in fact, be a source of reward and happiness. One of which that Mental Health Training Professionals such as Clearfocus, say can create a sense of Well-being and good Mental Health is farm work.

Here are some Mental Health benefits of farm work

Connecting with Nature

Nature does not need to be regarded as only the great wilderness. Although there are farms of which expands across a vast land mass, it is in fact simply being outside and amongst an open surrounding. Reports suggest simple factors such as the amount of daylight of which is absorbed between sunrise and sunset can contribute to good or poor Mental Health.  For example, as shown by researchers, vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL) raises the risk of depression by as much as 85 percent.

Lack of Distractions

Distractions have become a method which has been adopted for a sense of relief from negative thoughts and emotions; which is actually contributing to a negatively habitual cognitive behaviour, whereby individuals attempt to hide from there problems through distractions. Farm work can often cause, by default, the worker to approach their problems with a lack of distraction and thus, learn cognitive skills that are more closely linked to mindfulness.  

Physical activity  

Naturally, working on a farm requires most individuals to perform physical labour. Although to the eye this can seem to be a hindrance, however, beyond personal preference there have been numerous reports expressing the mental health benefits of physical activity. This is due to the fact that when we perform any kind of physical exercise, our brain releases chemicals that bring on the sensation of euphoria, or otherwise known as “the runners high”.

It should be said that the Mental Health benefits mentioned in this article result from the nature of farm work but of which can also be transferred into an individual’s daily life. This is why workplace Mental Health training professionals regard occupations like farm work to have the capacity to actually improve one’s Mental Health.

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All about Serpentine Farm

Serpentine Farm is owned and operated by Jane Sommers. Jane has spent most her life involved with horses, starting with weekend riding lessons as a child. She purchased her first mount shortly after graduating high school; a young Arabian gelding who was very athletic and highly trainable. Shan allowed Jane the luxury of experimentation, trying out many styles of riding, and finally leading her to a passion for Dressage. Along the way, Jane started many colts and showed young horses in hand and under saddle. College life focused on equine reproduction, both in school and on the job. After many years of breeding and training horses for other people, Jane began to breed her own Warmbloods in 2000. Events aligned just so, so that, in 2002, Jane was able to begin building Serpentine Farm. The farm is the culmination of years of dreaming, practical experience, and passion, plus a ton of elbow grease (and a big orange Kubota tractor).
Jane shares her passion for animals with anything that walks or squawks. She lives with three dogs, way too many cats, and an assortment of livestock. She volunteers as a foster parent for the local pet rescue association, and usually has at least one rescued equine rehabilitating on the property.

Barn Manager Velvet Perry has been with the farm since Spring 2005. She was looking for a place to keep a starving Paint gelding she had just rescued. Little did Jane know, but their meeting would be vital to the success of Serpentine Farm. Velvet took over the management duties of the young horses almost immediately and cared for all the horses (and goats and sheep) as if they were her own. Velvet runs a tight ship and without her hard work and dedication the farm could not have grown as quickly as it has. Velvet’s husband, Dean, and their two boys have been very generous in sharing Mom with Serpentine Farm.

Another lover and collector of animals, Suzanne Reed joined Serpentine Farm in the fall of 2005, bringing her TB and Hanoverian broodmares, a TB stallion, and a plan to breed quality hunters and jumpers. Suzanne rides hunters and competes in the amateur division, which is the target of her breeding program. She selects bloodlines that combine proven jumping ability and athleticism with great temperaments and rideability. Suzanne grew up riding mostly Thoroughbreds on the East Coast. Returning to the saddle after twenty years off to raise her children, she discovered that Warmbloods had become the horse of choice in the show arena. She made the switch, but refuses to abandon her first love. Suzanne is committed to incorporating Thoroughbred bloodlines, using individuals of superior quality with excellent temperaments, to breed European and Iberian Warmblood sporthorses suitable for the amateur rider. To support her horse habit, Suzanne works on climate change policy for a non-profit organization. She shares her Sacramento home with two dogs and a cat and is involved in pit bull, cat, and Thoroughbred rescue.


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