USDA’s NIFA grants over $7 million dollars to support mental health efforts

The economic conditions spurred by the pandemic have raised awareness of mental health issues. That is why USDA’s National Institute of Food and Ag awarded more than $7 million dollars to the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center.

It is a twelve state effort that will create mental health resources for ag producers and stakeholders in the north central region.

“In our first year, we’re really looking at getting some discussion with farmers and seeing how we can learn from then and how they interact with mental health providers and get some input so we can educate those mental health providers to know some of that background,” University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension’s Katie Wantoch states. “If they don’t grow up on a farm, they’re not familiar with farming, they just don’t know some of those stressors, and that’s really what we’re trying to provide, so that they can kind of almost skip that section and say, ‘hey, I’ve got a farmer coming in to meet with me. This is probably what they’re going through and what they’re experiencing. How can I help them?’”

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