A new campaign aims to help farmers overcome stress. The American Soybean Association, United Soybean Board and state soy organizations have teamed up to offer the #SoyHelp campaign to help farmers and farm families more easily find assistance they may need.
A recent survey from the soy industry found stress is high in farm country, stemming from low prices, trade issues, weather conditions, and now, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Wendy Brannen, American Soybean Association Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, says the survey showed an opportunity to help farmers through rough times.
“The survey really just said to us, ‘Here is an opportunity to see what we can do to make a difference.’ So, we came up with the idea of a national outreach campaign called SoyHelp, hashtag soy H-E-L-P. And, through that campaign, we are working with states and the United Soybean Board to put resources out there for individuals on any array of emotional concerns.”
Brannen says they hope the campaign will raise awareness about the resources available to all farmers – not just soy growers – and provide easy ways for them to access those resources.
“I think a lot of times it’s a tough pill to swallow to ask for help. Particularly in the farming industry, everybody works so hard, and it’s tough to admit that you may need a helping hand. So, we hope this campaign will do a couple of things. Number one, we hope it will help overcome that stigma that still exists, but number two we hope it will provide resources in an easy to digest, readily available format.”
Brannen explained there are diverse resources available to help farmers.
“There are resources for telehealth options, financial resources, access to government offices that may be able to assist with farm operation issues. There are also links to self-assessments for any emotional concerns, professional services and local health care facilities. There are hotlines for urgent needs. There are many warm lines, which are really just advice lines, so you don’t have to be at the point of desperation to really access a person who can give you insight and offer ways to help or maybe get you to resources to help. And there are chat lines, text lines, pretty much anything that you have a comfort level exist out there to seek help.”
You can follow the campaign and find resources on social media by searching for hashtag soy help.
“These resources will be circulating out there. There will also be editorials and personal stories from people who have personal experiences of having lost someone from suicide or just experience in farm stress. If this does not apply to you, it could apply to someone you know, so help us amplify this message by sharing on your own social media channels and we just ask that you help us combat this issue.”
Stay up to date with the latest information from the United Soybean Board Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. Eastern on RFD-TV, and to learn more, visit unitedsoybean.org.