Three Awards Support Agricultural Mental Health

St. Paul, MN: Three new projects are joining the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Bend, Don’t Break Initiative to help Minnesota farmers cope with adversity.

“Agriculture can be a tough profession and Minnesota farmers experience a wide variety of physical, mental, and business stresses day-to-day and season-to-season,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “We’re proud to work with partners like these to support farmers in meaningful ways.”

The following new projects received funding to support these efforts:

  • Minnesota FFA Foundation – $52,000 grant to support student chapters across the state that create projects and activities in support of mental wellness for youth, farmers, and their communities.
  • Latino Economic Development Center – $50,000 grant to develop and deliver innovative and culturally appropriate ways of providing financial counseling, problem solving, and other forms of enterprise support to historically underserved Minnesota farmers.
  • Southern Minnesota Agricultural Center of Excellence – $25,000 award to provide consultation and coaching to farmers and farm families that are working on a transition or succession plan for their farm operations, and to contribute materials to a new Minnesota farm transition/succession workbook.

These organizations join 11 others in the MDA’s Bend, Don’t Break Initiative, which is supported by a $559,605 award (no. 2021-70035-35461) from the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Program from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For a full list of the Bend, Don’t Break Initiative awardees and their projects, as well as more resources for coping with farm and rural stress, visit