DATCP To Help Farmers Manage Stress

The DATCP Farm Center was awarded $500,000 from the USDA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to promote, develop, and increase stress management and mental health resources for Wisconsin farmers.

This investment is in addition to the $100,000 included in Gov. Tony Evers’ 2021-2023 budget to provide services including the 24/7 hotline, counseling vouchers and farmers’ mental health support groups.

“From unpredictable weather to fluctuating market prices, farmers are faced with challenges every day that can cause stress and anxiety,” says DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “This funding will help build on stress management and mental health resources to help farmers overcome challenges and continue providing high-quality, nutritious products for our state, nation, and world.”

DATCP will use the funding to:

–Promote stress management and mental health programming for Wisconsin farmers by creating, printing, and distributing outreach materials. Develop a series of videos on stress identification, prevention, and management for farmers.

–Adapt existing farm management, financial, and mental health resources into formats that are more easily accessible by Hmong and Latinx farmers.

Additionally, DATCP will work with partners on resources including:

–The UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will receive a portion of the grant funding to adapt the WeCOPE stress management program for a farmer audience in cooperation with the Division of Extension.

–The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service will receive a portion to coordinate peer support training for 18 farmers through the Wisconsin Peer Specialists Program. After training, this group of farmers will establish a support network across the state for farmers utilizing peer support techniques to provide assistance.