Friday, 12 November 2021 18:02

NCDA&CS receives $500,000 to support Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

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RALEIGH — More mental health support will be available to farmers and ranchers thanks to a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to expand the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network-NC.

“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,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “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.”  

FRSAN-NC is a collaboration between the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the N.C. Agromedicine Institute, N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University’s Cooperative Extension and CareNet Counseling, Inc.

Through the grant, FRSAN-NC will set up and implement a statewide farm crisis and referral line, develop and implement an agricultural-specific curriculum for the recognition and management of farm stress-related conditions and emotion regulation, and increase access to counseling and support systems needed to reduce the burden of farm stress.

“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,” said Dr. Robin Tutor-Marcom, director of the N.C. Agromedicine Institute. “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.”

Opportunities will also be made for farmers, ranchers, their family members, and staff of agencies supporting farmers across North Carolina to take advantage of other stress-related trainings such as Mental Health First Aid.