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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

IA farmers get 'pro performance' physical, mental training

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024   

A Des Moines-based farm co-op is taking high-tech sports-training into the country and has hired an athletic physician to do it.

The field of high-tech sports training is usually reserved for athletes and other high-level performers but the mindset is taking a dramatic turn, as the Landus Co-op in Des Moines has hired a physician.

Dr. Dehra Harris has spent much of her medical career training the Toronto Blue Jays minor-league baseball players and is bringing those skills to the Iowa countryside. Harris said she has always been drawn to helping people who have to perform physically to make a living.

"You don't have days off. You can't take it easy, right?" Harris pointed out. "It's that 'rub some dirt on it' kind of world. And to be able to take the things that we've been learning, in sports and in medicine, and apply it to this group is just an incredible opportunity."

Harris explained she will start by listening to farmers' physical needs, then developing proper nutrition and recovery programs even if it means responding to a farmer who's delivering a calf at three in the morning, and whatever else it takes to help with America's ag production backbone.

Harris noted her regimen will not stop with physical training. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports suicide rates are nearly twice as high for farmers compared to the general public. The threat was most severe during the pandemic.

Harris will design wellness plans for farmers' mental health, although she noted getting the information might not be easy.

"I love it when I talk to farmers because I'm going to hear all about their family," Harris added. "I'll hear about everything to do with their farm but I'm also not going to hear a lot about what they need. So, we think that the strategies that are actually going to work best here are actually to approach this as a family, and see what the needs are for the whole unit."

Landus is among the first co-ops in the country to take the new approach.


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