Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network could get permanent funding within the Farm Bill
Randy Roecker, founder of The Farmer Angel Network was in Washington recently, advocating for Wisconsin farmers and their well-being. While there, he talked about a proposal to permanently fund the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network and the Farmers First Proposal set forth by Senator Tammy Baldwin.
“It’s so vitally important that we get this help that she’s proposing in the Farm Bill, the money filters down to the Farm Center in Wisconsin and that’s how we can access the money for the free vouchers for counseling and everything like that so it’s vitally important that we do this,” Roecker said.
The effort has bipartisan support and highlights the need for mental health resources in rural America.
“Out in the rural areas we are lacking on therapy and specialists, I mean it just seems that farmers are left behind, so we need this help out there. And, you know, we’re breaking down the stigma of talking about depression and they realize that too, so it’s vitally important to do this,” Roecker said.
The Farmer Angel Network provides education and resources aimed at preventing farmer suicide in Wisconsin.
May is mental health awareness month. If you or someone you know is struggling, the nationwide Farm Crisis Hotline is available to help. The number is 800-464-0258 or you can visit them online.