HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania livestock producers, as well as agricultural professionals who work directly with these producers, are encouraged to take a short survey to share their insight on mental wellness within the Pennsylvania 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 PA 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.
“There’s no doubt that the mental challenges a farmer can face in any given day can weigh heavily on their well-being. Many professionals who interact with livestock operators also have firsthand experience with the mental challenges a farmer can encounter,” said Jennifer Reed-Harry from the Center for Poultry and Livestock. “Both perspectives are valuable to this study, and the goal of the survey is to begin a candid conversation about mental health and what it means for our state’s livestock producers.”
Both surveys are confidential and anonymous, and individuals are encouraged to answer the questions and submit their responses by January 31, 2022. 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.
“We hope to use the results from this study to normalize the discussion, so more individuals feel empowered to ask for help before it is too late,” Reed-Harry added.
FRSAN grant partners will use the results of the study to develop a library of mental health resources for the agriculture community. They will also be hosting several mental health workshops in the spring of 2022. Dates and details for the mental health workshops will be announced in the new year.
To complete the short surveys, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/mental-wellness-survey to access the digital surveys. Surveys must be submitted by January 31, 2022. If you would like to be mailed a physical copy of the survey, please call 717-346-0849 or email email@example.com.
For more information about the FRSAN grant or to learn more about the initiative, contact the following partners:
- Center for Dairy Excellence – 717-346-0849
- Center for Beef Excellence – 570-687-3150
- Center for Poultry & Livestock – 717-651-5920
- PA Beef Council – 814-623-2698
- Penn State Extension Livestock Team – 484-614-7183
- Penn State Extension Dairy Team – 724-662-3414
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence