Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Farmside Chat Podcast Addresses Opioid Crisis in Rural America

News / FBNews October 16, 2019

AFBF President Zippy Duvall (right) with Connie Gyorr and her husband, John  

In the most recent episode of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farmside Chat podcast, AFBF President and podcast host Zippy Duvall talks to Tennessee first-generation farmer and family nurse practitioner Matt Niswander about his work to address the opioid crisis in rural America. 

Niswander explained to Duvall how farmers, who deal with greater physical hazards than most other people, are prescribed pain medication from a medical professional they trust, not having any idea about the potentially devastating side effects.

“One of those side effects unfortunately is addiction. So those injuries that we receive, like you said, I don't think farmers go to the doctor very often. When they do, they're pretty banged up and beat up. An honest injury, an honest doctor visit turns into an addiction problem that lasts a lifetime,” Niswander said.

Duvall also sits down with Illinois Farm Bureau member Connie Gyorr, who shares her daughter Marisa’s story in the hope of raising awareness and bringing healing to those struggling with addiction.

“My daughter passed away at the age of 20, and she was an amazing young lady. She had a smile that would light up a whole room, and a laugh that was just contagious,” Gyorr said.

She continued, “We began this charity in her memory, and it's Marisa's Purpose, Faith, Hope and Love. What we do is we basically try to educate students, parents, staff, anybody that'll really listen to us about the opioid crisis that we're facing right now.”

You can access Farmside Chat several ways. The podcast is available on the AFBF website, as well as through iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, SoundCloud and Stitcher. Most podcast services allow you to subscribe to or follow a podcast so that when there’s a new episode, it will automatically download to the podcast platform.

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