Wed. Jan 19th, 2022
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The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services partnered with the NC Agromedicine Institute, NCSU, and NC A&T’s Cooperative Extension and CareNet Counseling, Inc. to provide an additional $500,000 in funds to an underused USDA-backed mental health program for farmers.

Just ask any of your farming neighbors here in Bertie County. They will tell you–farming is stressful work. Many ag producers work year-round, keeping long working hours. Besides that, they are subject to many factors out of their control. For instance, one flood, hurricane, or natural disaster can wipe out an entire season of work. All of that takes a toll on local farmers.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Troxler, explains it best:

Farming is a stressful profession on a good day, but catastrophic weather events, nuisance lawsuits, land loss, COVID-19, and flat commodity prices in recent years have only added to the stress farmers and ranchers face. This grant will help strengthen and expand the work of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, making resources available for those who need them.”  

Steve Troxler, North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture

About the Mental Health Program for Farmers

The program name is FRSAN-NC. Indeed, the recently-received additional funding will go to good use. Program administrators will create and implement a crisis and referral hotline for farmers with mental health concerns. In addition, they will implement an agriculture-specific curriculum to help agriculture workers recognize and manage the dangerous impacts of stress and increase access to counseling and resources. Finally, the program helps farmers take advantage of stress-related training classes, such as Mental Health First Aid.

Dr. Robin Tutor-Marcom, the director for the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, says this:

We are grateful for this funding opportunity and collaboration to further support the cornerstone of our state’s No. 1 industry – our farmers and ranchers. Having a confidential and trained support system to assist farmers and ranchers under stress, is especially critical in rural areas with fewer mental health resources.”

Dr. Robin Tutor-Marcom

If you know a farmer who has might need counseling for stress, please take advantage of these opportunities to receive help.

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