Brenda Mack is a behavioral health and wellness consultant, trainer, presenter, researcher and an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department at Bemidji State University (BSU). Before joining the faculty at BSU, Brenda worked for twenty years as a program manager, outpatient and in-home therapist and mobile behavioral health crisis responder for a community mental health center. She holds Bachelor and Master of Arts in Social Work degrees from the University of North Dakota. Brenda is a full-time doctorate in social work student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and will graduate in May 2020. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker through the Minnesota Board of Social Work.
Brenda grew up in a farm family where her late father was a third-generation Red River Valley crop farmer and her mom was his partner in marriage for 50 years and helped run their agricultural operations. Brenda is married to a fourth-generation crop farmer from Crookston, MN. She has a special place in her heart for women in agriculture who have a primary or secondary role in farming or ranching. She walks the same path of ag-related ups and downs and wants to spark a local, state and national conversation about the impacts of stress, how to build resilience through connection, and implementing self-care strategies.
Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, has over 25 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare and cognitive disabilities fields. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, which serves a comprehensive array of behavioral healthcare services to adults, children and families across six rural and frontier counties of Northwest Minnesota. Her background of growing up on her family’s third-generation farm, working the fields during harvest and experiencing the stressors and joys the agriculture way of life brings has brought awareness and insight to her work within the communities she serves.
Sue Schneider, Ph.D., works in the Larimer County office of Colorado State University Extension providing leadership and programming in the areas of community health, wellness and healthy aging. Sue teaches a range of classes and workshops that support individuals in developing stress-resilience, motivating behavior-change and applying self-care tools. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan State University and is a Duke-trained and certified Integrative Health Coach.
Gabrielle McNally leads American Farmland Trust’s national initiative to ensure women landowners have access to resources, technical advice and policy facilitators to ensure they lead in conservation and building resilient agrifood systems. Before joining AFT, she worked as a fellow with the USDA Northwest Climate Hub where she conducted social science research to better understand producer decision making in sustainable agrifood systems. Gabrielle has a Master of Science from the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forestry Science and a Doctorate in sociology and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University.