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Mental health survey available for Pennsylvania producers

Northeast Notebook: Reserve a seat at the Taste of Maryland gala; register for virtual seminars for next-generation farm leaders.

Chris Torres, Editor, American Agriculturist

January 6, 2022

3 Min Read
male farmer looking concerned
TALK ABOUT IT: USDA’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network is helping organize a statewide survey in Pennsylvania to gauge farmer mental health. Results from the survey will be used to develop resources for farmer depression. Fertnig/Getty Images

Pennsylvania livestock producers, as well as agricultural professionals who work directly with these producers, are encouraged to take a short survey to give their insight on mental wellness within the state’s agriculture industry.

The surveys are being conducted as part of a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture effort, funded by a USDA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) grant.

The Center for Dairy Excellence, Center for Beef Excellence, Center for Poultry & Livestock, and Pennsylvania Beef Producers Working Group are partnering to evaluate how Pennsylvania agriculture producers are managing mental health and stress on the farm.

After using the survey results to determine a baseline, the group will develop a library of resources to help dairy farm families and service professionals navigate mental health challenges.

Both surveys are confidential and anonymous, and individuals are encouraged to answer the questions and submit their responses by Jan. 31. Question topics include issues affecting mental health in the agriculture sector, obstacles for seeking treatment, community support, warning signs about mental health conditions and more.

FRSAN grant partners will use the results of the study to develop a library of mental health resources for the agriculture community and will also be putting together several mental health workshops in the spring. Dates and details for the mental health workshops will be announced soon.

To complete the short surveys, visit centerfordairyexcellence.org to access the digital surveys. If you would like to be mailed a physical copy of the survey, call 717-346-0849 or email [email protected].

Taste of Maryland gala

Maryland’s ag industry leaders will gather for networking, food and conversation with state and national legislators at the 52nd annual Taste of Maryland Agriculture gala Feb. 3 at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland at Arundel Mills in Hanover.

Sponsored by Maryland Agriculture Council Inc., more than 700 people are expected to attend the premier event where agriculture education grants will be awarded, and Gov. Larry Hogan will introduce the state’s Agricultural Hall of Fame honoree.

Gala attendees will feast on a smorgasbord of Maryland-produced foods and beverages, and will learn and see firsthand the financial commitment that the council has made to agriculture education programs across the state. Several initiatives will be recognized with the awarding of $5,000 in grants to individuals and organizations.

The Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame award will be presented to a farm family that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to agriculture and the community where they live and work.

Tickets for the event are $125. To order tickets online, visit mdagcouncil.com.

For ticket information, reservations or more information, contact Susan Summers, executive director, at 240-446-3601 or [email protected].

GenerationNext seminars

To help the next generation of farm managers develop the necessary business and financial skills, Farm Credit East is seeking interested up-and-coming leaders to attend its virtual GenerationNext seminar series.

Sessions begin Jan. 19.

GenerationNext is optimal for producers who will be the next-generation operators of a farm or forestry business, or for entrepreneurs starting their own business. The sessions cover a range of topics, including leadership and management, human resource development, financial management, production economics, marketing, risk management, and farm transfer and estate planning.

Start the new year by signing up for the GenerationNext virtual series. Each virtual session will run two hours every Wednesday for eight weeks, starting Jan. 19.

Visit farmcrediteast.com/generationnext to sign up. It is not necessary to have an existing relationship with Farm Credit East to attend.

Read more about:

Next Generation

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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