NIFA invests nearly $25M in Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, Funding will support Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network State Department of Agriculture projects

NIFA’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network connects farmers, ranchers, and others in agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs,” said NIFA Director Dr. Carrie Castille. “Creating and expanding a network to assist farmers and ranchers in times of stress can increase behavioral health awareness, literacy, and positive outcomes for agricultural producers, workers and their families.” (USDA Rural Development, Public Domain)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced an investment of nearly $25 million for 50 grants supporting Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) State Department of Agriculture (SDA) projects.

“NIFA’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network connects farmers, ranchers, and others in agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs,” said NIFA Director Dr. Carrie Castille. “Creating and expanding a network to assist farmers and ranchers in times of stress can increase behavioral health awareness, literacy, and positive outcomes for agricultural producers, workers and their families.”

Funded projects must initiate, expand, or sustain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance as necessary through farm telephone helplines and websites; training programs and workshops; support groups; and outreach services and activities.

Examples of  FY2021 Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Program-SDA projects include:

  • Colorado Department of Agriculture’s project, Colorado Farmer and Rancher Mental Health Support, will expand the vitality and psychosocial wellbeing of Colorado’s agricultural workers with community-based efforts to manage the increasing stress on farmers and ranchers. ($500,000)
  • Georgia Department of Agriculture’s project, Georgia Farmer Healthy Mindset, will take a multifaceted approach to address stress and mental health outreach and awareness, programming, capacity building, and farmer financial literacy. ($500,000)
  • Maine Department of Agriculture’s project supports Maine farmers through a fellowship program with the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust and community-led food and medicine projects across tribal communities with the Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective. ($500,000)
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Bend, Don’t Break project will engage agency, nonprofit, and educational partners in helping farmers and others in agriculture cope with adversity, addressing suicide, farm transition/succession, legal problems, family relationships and youth stress. ($500,000)
  • Washington State Department of Agriculture will collaborate with Washington Department of Health and Washington State University Extension to create two programs to address suicide prevention and behavioral health. ($500,000)
  • Executive Office of the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands will create outreach activities, seminars, training, workshops, and resources to allow local farmers to develop a Farm and Stress Assistance Network locally; and collaborate with the FRSAN-Southern Region to respond to the stress experienced by agricultural producers in the U.S. Virgin Islands through prevention, intervention, and future mitigation efforts. ($500,000)

Background:
Long before the pandemic caused an increase in stress around the world, stress-related mental health was already a rising concern across farm communities coast to coast. USDA-NIFA introduced a competitive grants program, the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, which supports projects that provide stress assistance for people in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations. FRSAN offers a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and more favorable outcomes for them and their families. In fiscal year2020, NIFA awarded $28.7 million to four regional entities contributing to FRSAN, to ensure vulnerable agricultural producers and their families have more options for high-quality, affordable help close to home.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In fiscal year 2020, NIFA’s total investment was $1.95 billion.

Visit our website: www.nifa.usda.gov; Twitter: @USDA_NIFA; LinkedIn: USDA-NIFA. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science (searchable by state or keyword), visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts.
Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN)
The purpose of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program is to establish a network that connects individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs. The establishment of a network that assists farmers and ranchers in time of stress can offer a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for agricultural producers, workers and their families.
FUNDING PRIORITY
Section 7522 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, 7 U.S.C. 5936, authorizes NIFA to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network as follows: § 5936. Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
In General – “The Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall make competitive grants to eligible entities described in subsection (c) to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network that provides stress assistance programs to individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations.”
The authority for the FRSAN-State Department of Agriculture (SDA) is Public Law No: 116-260 Sec 766(a)(link is external), 7 U.S.C. 5936(link is external) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
ELIGIBILITY
Applications may only be submitted by a collaborative state; tribal; local or regionally-based network, or partnership of qualified public and/or private entities, as determined by the Secretary. These collaborations may include the following entities: Indian tribes (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)); State departments of agriculture, State cooperative extension services; and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).  FRSAN-SDA applicants fund eligible State Departments of Agriculture.
https://nifa.usda.gov/program/farm-and-ranch-stress-assistance-network-frsan

Award NumberProject DirectorOrganizationProject NameAmount AwardedRegion
2020-70028-32730Wallace, H.S.University of Tennessee Extension Knoxville, Tennessee Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network: Southern Region$4,800,000South
2020-70028-32731Don McMoranWashington State UniversityWestern Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP)$4,800,000West
2020-70028-32728J. RudolphiUniversity of Illinois – Urbana, IllinoisNorth Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center: Engaging Programs to Support Producer Wellbeing$4,800,000North Central
2020-70028-32729Martin LemosNational Young Farmers CoalitionBuilding an Inclusive and Comprehensive Network for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance in the Northeast$4,800,000  Northeast

APPLICANT WEBINARS

APRIL 29, 2021

MAY 6, 2020

NEW GRANTEE WEBINARS

SEPTEMBER 1, 2021


TYPES OF PROJECTS

The FRSAN program will accept applications for Regional Networks.

The long-term goal of the FRSAN projects is to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network that provides stress assistance programs to individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations on a regional basis. Network members must initiate, expand, or sustain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance as necessary through the following:

  1. Farm telephone helplines and websites;
  2. Training including training programs and workshops;
  3. Support groups; and
  4. Outreach services and activities, including the dissemination of information and materials.


THE AWARD PROCESS

Awards will be made through a competitive grants process, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov(link is external). This process requires pre-registration which can take up to one month. We encourage all potential applicants to begin the registration process as soon as possible.

Reviewers from universities, government, community-based organizations, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and from the military, veteran, and farming/agribusiness community will provide peer assessment and recommend applications for funding.


POST AWARD MONITORING

Projects are required to acknowledge USDA-NIFA funding in all presentations, publications, news releases, etc. Projects are required to collect and submit outcome-based data to USDA-NIFA through annual reports. The annual Project Directors and Evaluators meeting provides opportunities for networking and sharing of best practices.Program Type: Grant ProgramContact: Brent Elrod

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