Support During Stressful Times
Resources for Farmers
• Minnesota Farm Advocates: Farm Advocates, which are located throughout the state, provide one-on-one assistance for Minnesota farmers who face crisis situations caused by either natural disaster or financial problems. To find an advocate near you, see www.mda.state.mn.us/about/commissionersoffice/farmadvocates. The advocate hotline is 1-800-967-2474.
• Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG): FLAG is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land. FLAG provides basic advice as well as numerous printed and online resources. More information is at www.flaginc.org or by calling 651-223-5400.
• Minnesota Extension Online Workshops: These are a set of online self-help workshops that use evidence-based stress management strategies, and they're targeted directly to farmers. https://extension.umn.edu/dealing-stress-web-based-educational-series/get-started-dealing-stress-workshop
• The Minnesota Farmer-Lender Mediation Program: Contact the program at https://extension.umn.edu/get-help/farmer-lender-mediation or at 218-935-5785.
• Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline: Free, confidential, 24/7. This call center is located in Minnesota. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts—call. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to somebody you don’t know. The telephone number is 1-833-600-2670 (extension no. 1)
• Minnesota Extension—UMASH—Cultivating Resiliency Webinar Series: This new interactive online series sets out to help women in agriculture cultivate resiliency by focusing on what they can control in these challenging times and connecting them with resources and information that can help them weather stress. http://umash.umn.edu/cultivating-resiliency-webinars
• Minnesota Department of Agriculture: "Dealing with Stress" website: This website contains fact sheets and tips on dealing with stress, as well as links to other resources. www.mda.state.mn.us/about/mnfarmerstress
Minnesota Rural Mental Health Specialists:
- Monica McConkey: grew up on a farm and has worked in the mental health sector for 25 years. 218-280-7785 or www.eyesonthehorizon.org
• Minnesota Farm Business Management Program: This program, which is offered through the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, offers individualized farm management assistance and access to educational opportunities throughout the year. Farm Business Management instructors work with farmers to improve record-keeping and provide in-depth financial and profitability analysis of agricultural operations. For a list of instructors throughout the state and other details, see www.centerofagriculture.org/farm-business-management/farm-business-management-institutions.
• The Land Stewardship Project's Farm Beginnings Program: LSP's Farm Beginnings, Farm Dreams and Journeyperson courses provide various levels of training in the areas of business planning, goal-setting and marketing, among others. For details, see www.landstewardshipproject.org/morefarmers/farm or call 507-523-3366.
• The Land Stewardship Project’s Soil Health Program works with crop and livestock farmers that view soil as a long-term investment and imperative to our ecological health. LSP acts as a bridge between sources of emerging soil health information and local farming practices, including reduced tillage, cover crops, annual crops, perennials, and livestock integration. To receive regular updates on workshops, field days, on-farm demonstrations, and emerging soil health research, join our Soil Builders’ Network. https://landstewardshipproject.org/lspsoilbuilders
• The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. We're committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness. Call 1-800-273-8255.
• National Farmers Union Farm Crisis Center. https://farmcrisis.nfu.org
• Farm Aid Resource Guide for Farm Crisis Support. www.farmaid.org/our-work/resources-for-farmers/farmer-resource-guides/crisis-support-farm-aid-resource-guide
• Applications are now open for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2. If your farm or ranch has been impacted by COVID-19, check this link to see if you should apply. CFAP2 extends coverage from April to the end of the year, and has made some improvements to the scope of coverage and eligibility criteria for a variety of commodity and specialty crops. LSP continues to fight for COVID-19 relief funding dedicated to local producers, processors, and markets because a resilient local food system means food security and healthy, stable communities. Details are at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.
• The U.S. Small Business Association is accepting applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds. These funds are available to agricultural businesses on a limited basis only. These funds are limited so immediate action is recommended. The application is available at www.SBA.gov/Disaster.
• The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is providing assistance to livestock producers and processors during the pandemic. Information about support from MDA can be found here.
• Farmers' Legal Action Group has put together a Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief (EIDL specifics on pages 29-31.): www.flaginc.org/covid-19-guide.