Make sure to leave room for mental health programs in the next Farm Bill

The pressures of farming are definitely of more concern across our industry and mental health advocates are working to make sure progress is made in the next Farm Bill.

The USDA’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network was created in the 2018 Farm Bill, but it has to be reauthorized to continue. Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow’s Farm Bill framework increases funding for the network, but the Republican outline in the House does not include it at all.

Penn State University’s Ag Safety and Health Program told Brownfield Ag News that the amount of organizations offering mental health resources has more than quadrupled from 2019 to 2022, and with more people reaching out to help, the network cannot go away.