Thursday, October 15, 2020

USDA agency awards $28.7 million in grants to fund programs to fight stress among farmers and ranchers

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced $28.7 million in grants for programs meant to combat stress among farmers and ranchers, who are among the most likely to die by suicide compared to Americans in other professions.

The grants come from NIFA's Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, first authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill but not funded until the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill had only$2 million for the program, but Congress increased funding this year, Stephanie Hanes reports for The Christian Science Monitor.

The money was split up among four entities that will develop and coordinate regional programs over the next three years. The University of Illinois received $7.18 million for its North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Relief Center, a 12-state collaborative in the North Central region. 

The National Young Farmers Coalition in Hudson, N.Y., received $7.16 million to create an inclusive and comprehensive network for stress relief on farms and ranches in the Northeast, according to the NIFA press release.

The University of Tennessee received $7.18 million to coordinate a program among 12 Southern states and two U.S. territories (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

Washington State University in Pullman received $7.18 million for its Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program, coordinated across 13 Western states and four U.S. territories.

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