Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Career and Technology Education (MCTE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Career, Technology and Leadership Edu.

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia H. Dyk

Abstract

Losing a spouse is as devastating an experience anyone will ever deal with in his or her life. Research, however, shows that men have a harder and longer time coping with the loss of a spouse than women. When the widower’s profession is farming, there are no resources to specifically help that individual with their loss. The purpose of this research was to gain insight into the lives of widowed farmers with particular focus on transitions in their farming operation and their family life. Through their stories, we learn what is happening before the loss of the female spouse on the farm, during the bereavement period, and how the farmer handles the situation after the bereavement period has ended. Findings indicate that the Cooperative Extension Service can play a major role in supporting our widowed farmers as they seek a new normal for their farm operation and family life. Also, farming widowers have more stress following the loss of a spouse due to the added aspect of managing the farm and the home simultaneously after the passing of their spouse. Recommendations include further expanding spousal bereavement materials to include a section for males and in particular farming widowers.

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