Senators Introduce Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Bill

Senators Tammy Baldwin and Joni Ernst have introduced legislation to fund the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. The two say the legislation will provide farmers with critical support and resources to respond to the difficult economic times.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found agricultural workers have a higher suicide rate than any other occupation. The Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental health and Encouraging Rural Solutions for Immediate Response to Stressful Times, named the FARMERS FIRST Act, will establish helplines, provide suicide prevention training for farm advocates, create support groups and reestablish the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network.

Senator Baldwin of Wisconsin says the legislation “will provide funding for local resources and expand access to stress reduction strategies and suicide prevention programs.” Ersnt of Iowa says “we must do more” to ensure farmers and ranchers “have access to the mental health resources and supports they need.”