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Senators Moran, Marshall Announce USDA Grant to Connect Kansas Farmers, Ranchers with Mental Health Resources

US Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
US Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

US Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall have announced a $500,000 US Department of Agriculture Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant to the Kansas Department of Agriculture to help connect farmers, ranchers and those in agriculture-related occupations to mental health resources.

"This federal investment will provide our Kansas agricultural community with important mental health resources to help during trying times," said Senator Moran. "Farmers, ranchers and those working within the agriculture industry livelihoods depend on factors largely outside their control, from the weather to volatile commodity prices, creating stress that can be challenging to face alone. I was a champion of the FARMERS FIRST Act, included in the 2018 Farm Bill, to make certain our nation's agricultural community has access to necessary mental health programs, and I am pleased this grant will spread awareness about the resources offered to Kansans who need assistance coping with ag-related stress."

"Empowering KDA to provide the assistance and resources necessary to help reduce suicide rates among Kansas farmers and ranchers is some of the best money USDA has ever spent," said Senator Marshall. "Farming is one of the most uncertain, stressful jobs in the world. This meaningful investment by USDA will provide local farmers with assistance as they cope with these ongoing challenges, while spreading mental health awareness throughout the Kansas agricultural community."

KDA plans to use the grant to create a statewide campaign to raise awareness for the KansasAgStress.org website, develop reusable media content and work to destigmatize the concept of mental health awareness while lowering suicides in the agriculture industry in Kansas.

Senator Moran was an original cosponsor of the Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental Health and Encouraging Rural Solutions For Immediate Response to Stressful Times (FARMERS FIRST) Act, which reestablished the Farm and Ranch Assistance Network. Senator Moran is also a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which funds the USDA and has supported the FRSAN program.

(Information courtesy Senator Moran's Office.)