Farm Groups Partner to Help Farmers Manage Stress

Cindy Zimmerman

Todd Van Hoose, Farm Credit Council; Dale Moore, AFBF; Mark Skidmore, Michigan State Extension; Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union

Recognizing the high levels of stress affecting America’s farmers and ranchers, agricultural organizations have partnered on a program to train individuals who interact with farmers and ranchers to recognize signs of stress and offer help.

Farm Credit, American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union announced the program yesterday in Washington D.C. with the support of several members of Congress.

Based on the farm stress program Michigan State University Extension developed for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, this combination of online and in-person trainings is designed specifically for individuals who interact with farmers and ranchers. It provides participants the skills to understand the sources of stress, learn the warning signs of stress and suicide, identify effective communication strategies, reduce stigma related to mental health concerns and connect farmers and ranchers with appropriate mental health and other resources.

National Farmers Union compiled financial, legal and mental health resources at its online Farm Crisis Center. The organization’s partnership with Farm Bureau and Farm Credit will build on that project by further increasing farmers’ access to the information and services they need to get through financial and personal emergencies. Resources may also be accessed on MSU Extension’s “Managing Farm Stress” website.

The trainings, which will begin in the coming weeks, are funded by a grant from Farm Credit.

Listen to the announcement on the program made Wednesday by:
Todd Van Hoose, President and CEO, Farm Credit Council
Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union
Dale Moore, Executive Vice President, American Farm Bureau Federation
Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University Extension
Farm Groups Partner for Mental Health

AFBF, Ag Groups, Farm Credit