Running a feedyard is stressful. Always has been. But the last few years have taken on a particularly grim patina as a whirlwind of factors have come to confluence in ways that challenge managers and owners like never before.

And that ratchets up an already stressful job that seems to get one click tighter with every market report that lights up the monitor. But there are ways to deal with it, both for the people who sit in the hot seat and those they supervise and manage.

“First of all, it’s important to evaluate what is causing the stress,” says Carolyn Rodenberg, a Lynchburg, VA, consultant with Alternatives to Conflict, LLC, who helps feedyards understand and minimize workplace stress and conflict. “Sometimes we think it’s one thing and it’s really another.”

For example, you might think the problem is you’re overly tired from lack of sleep. “While that may be the symptom,” she says, “the real stressor may be that there’s tension the minute you walk in the door.”

So first, evaluate what’s causing your stress. For a lot of people, that’s best done one of two ways – talk it out or write it down.