Lifestyle

USDA launches Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

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The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced $1.92 million in four competitive grants supporting projects to provide stress assistance programs to support individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations. These projects were awarded to four regional entities to help launch the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. Funding for the grants comes from the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network program, authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

“This program sets the long-term foundation for a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network that will provide stress assistance programs to individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations on a regional basis. Our farmers, ranchers, and producers need help and programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health assistance and referral for other forms of support, as necessary,” said NIFA Director J. Scott Angle.

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network is a program created to establish a network that assists farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture-related workers in times of stress and offers a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for them and their families. NIFA is providing funding to four regional entities to help launch the network in North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western regions. The long-term expectation is that agriculture producers and their families will now have greater opportunities to find help in their communities and states.

As one example, the Building an Inclusive and Comprehensive Network for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance in the Northeast project, led by the National Young Farmers Coalition, Inc., will convene a network of farmer service providers in the region to build connections and collaboration.

Additionally, this project will gather resources, provide feedback on regional needs, develop an online clearinghouse to share available resources and referrals with farmers and service providers, and train service providers on the network, available resources, and best practices for working with farmers under stress.

A list of the grantees and their projects is available on the NIFA website.

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