DES MOINES, Iowa (September 23, 2021) – As part of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced that the Department of Agriculture and Iowa Land Stewardship received a $ 500,000 grant to expand farmer mental health support programs in Iowa. The department will partner with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to help raise awareness of mental health and wellness resources and make them more accessible to farmers and rural communities.
“We all need help from time to time and farmers and landowners are no exception. Some of the challenges they face are unique, such as long term financial stress, unpredictable weather conditions, and market uncertainty. We want anyone facing extra stress and mental health issues to know that they are not alone, ”Secretary Naig said. “We are proud to partner with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to help make mental health and wellness resources more accessible to farmers and our rural communities. “
“While commodity prices have improved over the past year, the derecho of a year ago and the drought that lasted for two years had an impact on many farmers in Iowa. These resources can help farmers and farm families cope with the added stress, ”said John Lawrence, vice president of extension and outreach at Iowa State University. “Those who work with farmers will have access to tools to help them recognize mental health issues and provide appropriate assistance. “
Through this grant, staff at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will provide community outreach and programming to those involved in agriculture and to those who support them. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will also conduct facilitator training for family strengthening programs. Resource kits for farmers will be available with information on how to access stress relief, wellness and family finance programs.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship applied for this grant through the Farm and Ranch Assistance Network program. Funding is provided by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA NIFA).
The initiative builds on recent outreach and outreach efforts by Iowa State University in this area, including:
- expand first aid and mental health issues. To persuade. Refer. (QPR) facilitators and trainings,
- provide mental health and QPR first aid to people involved in agriculture, their advocates and youth professionals serving rural areas of the state,
- develop a web presence to support the sharing of resources and information, and
- develop a training program on “culture of agriculture” for mental health care providers.
Farmers and farm families can find more information about the mental health and wellness programs and resources offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach at extension.iastate.edu/