The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute isn’t exactly a best kept secret because many are aware of the group’s work even though it may not be top of mind for farmers looking for help.
Awareness of the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute is not as high as it should be. That’s too bad because it performs much-needed work, offering valuable service to farmers, particularly in the area of farm safety and mental health.
The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute is a consortium of East Carolina University, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T University. It is housed at ECU and provides safety and health programs for farmers, foresters and fishermen, their families, and workers across the state.
The institute came to the aid of Hyde County farmer Demock Mann and his family after an incident at their farm’s grain bin in Fairfield on Feb. 27, 2019. Mann was working with his brothers Tyler Mann and Wyatt Mann and other workers loading corn into the bin when the auger malfunctioned and drilled right through Demock’s leg, trapping him.
It was a slow and painful recovery for Mann and his family, but two years later, Demock is still able to walk his fields and work his farm. The institute worked with the Manns and their Extension agent, Andrea Gibbs, to educate others on farm safety, which included a video produced by Gibbs and seminars where Mann told his story.
In addition, the institute helped Demock and his family sign up for health insurance outside of open enrollment and helped him connect with a counselor who understands and works with farmers. The institute also paid for a couple of Demock’s counseling sessions after the incident.
Indeed, perhaps the greatest service the institute provides is helping farmers deal with stress on the farm. The counseling services that the institute helped arrange for Demock and his family were key to his healing and recovery.
Farm stress isn’t going away. It goes with the territory. But the good news is there are trained counselors out their that can help you deal with stress. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute is there to help.
Moreover, if you don’t have insurance to cover the cost of counseling, funds from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission are available to cover up to three counseling sessions per individual.
Go to ncagromedicine.org to learn more.