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Best-worst scaling, choice experiment, dairy, help-seeking, mental health



To mitigate mental health concerns of farmers, research is needed to investigate strategies that encourage help-seeking behavior in this population. This study attempts to identify those help-seeking strategies. Six mental health service options were examined.


A survey, implementing a best-worst scaling choice experiment, was disseminated to members of the Illinois Milk Producers Association. Two methods of analysis were conducted. The first, a count-based method, employs a simple count-based approach to measure the relative preferences for the six mental health service options in question. The second is more complex and employs a latent-class logit regression model to measure individual preferences.


The mental-health service options, ranked in order from most preferred to least preferred were: 1) speak to family and friends, 2) keep it to myself, 3) utilize programs offered by agricultural organizations, 4) search online for self-help resources, 5) talk to a mental health professional, and 6) use “tele-health” support services.


This study examined an important gap in the literature concerning help-seeking preferences of dairy farmers. It is the first to utilize a choice experiment approach to assess help-seeking preferences among this understudied population. Results provide important empirical evidence to support distinct categories of farmers who may be weighing options regarding how to best address their mental health concerns.

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This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.


This article was published in Journal of Agromedicine, DOI: 10.1080/1059924X.2023.2229815.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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