March 3, 2022
A free service is now available to Pennsylvania farmers and their families who need mental health support.
The AgriStress HelpLine for Pennsylvania is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Farmers can call 833-897-AGRI (2474) to speak to a health care professional.
The AgriStress HelpLine for Pennsylvania is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, which was awarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to carry out programs to address farmer stress and suicide.
In addition to the department’s partnership with AgriSafe, these dollars support mental health resources available through the Center for Dairy Excellence, marketing to increase mental health awareness and reduce stigma, and regional collaboration with the National Young Farmers Coalition.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, financial challenges, farm or business problems, and the fear of losing the farm are top contributors to farmers’ mental health problems. Cost, embarrassment and stigma often prevent farmers from seeking help or treatment for a mental health condition.
For more information about the AgriStress HelpLine for Pennsylvania, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
Legalities of income-producing activities
A multipart educational series to help Pennsylvania specialty crop producers successfully augment wholesale sales revenue with other income begins online March 9.
Penn State Law’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law is conducting the educational series of workshops and webinars over the coming year about the prevention and planning necessary to best avoid contractual, tort and regulatory liabilities in conducting income-augmenting activities.
A single registration page has been created for the entire series. Sign up at any time throughout the year, and you will receive notifications and an access link to attend each webinar in the series from that date forward.
All webinars will be recorded and posted to the center’s YouTube channel with links from the website’s Watch and Listen tab. Registrants who attend will be added to the list to receive a complimentary electronic compilation of all the curriculum materials at the conclusion of the entire series.
For the list of webinars and topics, visit aglaw.psu.edu.
Northeast SARE seeks grant proposals
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) has released its 2022 call for Partnership Grant Program proposals.
Applicants can request up to $30,000 in funding to address a topic related to sustainable agriculture. Projects should seek innovative solutions to challenges or explore new opportunities that affect agricultural production, marketing, or household and community well-being in Northeast farming and food systems.
They must be conducted in one of the New England states, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., or West Virginia, and strengthen working partnerships with farmers to advance sustainable agriculture.
Proposals are due online by 5 p.m. April 12. Details, including submission instructions, are available at northeastsare.org/partnershipgrant. Projects typically run for one to two years with funding ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. No matching funds are required.
Grants can be used to conduct research, offer education and training programs, develop unique machines and tools, organize on-farm or in-market demonstrations, or explore new farm management practices. Funding may not be used to support educational programs for non-farming audiences, food donation efforts, community and school gardening initiatives, or public awareness campaigns about agriculture and nutrition.
A webinar reviewing eligibility and types of projects and expenses that can be funded can be viewed at go.uvm.edu/sare-grant-webinar.
Northeast SARE is housed within University of Vermont Extension, a unit of UVM's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. To learn more, visit northeast.sare.org.
Virtual hemp conference set for March 15-16
On March 15-16, hemp growers can hear from leading experts about hemp market trends, variety improvements, grain and fiber hemp production, pest and disease management, federal grant opportunities, and more at the fourth annual Industrial Hemp Conference.
The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets are co-sponsoring the virtual event. Registration is $50, payable by noon March 11. Certified crop adviser and pesticide applicator continuing education credits will be available.
For conference details, including the agenda, speakers' bios and a link to registration, visit go.uvm.edu/conferences. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact UVM Student Accessibility Services at [email protected] or 802-656-7753.
About the Author(s)
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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