Oct 22, 2019
$1.92M in farm stress assistance grants go to WSU, others


Washington State University is one of four recipients of new federal funding that supports agricultural stress assistance.

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Oct. 22 rolled out $1.92 million in four competitive grants for stress assistance programs that support people working in agriculture.

These projects were awarded to four regional entities to help launch the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, according to a press release from the USDA. Funding for the grants comes from the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) program, authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Our farmers, ranchers, and producers need help and programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health assistance and referral for other forms of support, as necessary,” NIFA Director J. Scott Angle said in the press release.

FRSAN was created to establish a network that assists farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture-related workers in times of stress and offers a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for them and their families, according to the press release. NIFA is providing funding to four regional entities to help launch the network in North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western regions. The long-term expectation is that agriculture producers and their families will now have greater opportunities to find help in their communities and states.

The four awardees are the Peosta, Iowa-based Agrisafe Network, Iowa State University, the Hudson, New York-based National Young Farmers Coalition and Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.

As one example, the Building an Inclusive and Comprehensive Network for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance in the Northeast project, led by the National Young Farmers Coalition Inc., will convene a network of farmer service providers in the region to build connections and collaboration, according to the release. Additionally, this project will gather resources, provide feedback on regional needs, develop an online clearinghouse to share available resources and referrals with farmers and service providers, and train service providers on the network, available resources, and best practices for working with farmers under stress.

A list of the grantees and their projects is available on the NIFA website.

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