ALBANY — NY FarmNet, a program of Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has published a comprehensive program evaluation focused on need within the agricultural community. Data was collected in two surveys – the first was a follow up survey sent to each farmer who had a case with FarmNet consultants that was deemed complete during 2019. The second, conducted in late 2018, was an open survey made available to program stakeholders and New York agricultural industry professionals. The first survey focused on the service each farmer received as a client of the program, and the second on what NY FarmNet could do to support the industry as a whole. The following are key takeaways:
- Stress is high among farmers, and often caused by uncontrollable forces. Twenty-nine percent of farmer clients surveyed stated they initially contacted NY FarmNet for assistance with personal and/or family issues. Supporting and resolving mental and behavioral health issues remains a high priority for the industry. This includes reducing associated stigma and addressing issues in a way that is comfortable and relatable to farmers.
- NY FarmNet continues to meet the needs of New York agriculture. Ninety-eight percent of stakeholders who were familiar with the program stated that they would recommend it, and 92-percent of program clients surveyed stated that they would encourage others to contact NY FarmNet.
- NY FarmNet will continually market itself in a unique way that targets farmers and agribusiness, and ensure that the services offered are broadly understood. When specifically asked to weigh in on services the program offers, stakeholder survey respondents showed that many of the areas they would like help with are already covered by NY FarmNet. Regarding program awareness, stress management topped the list, with 92-percent of respondents indicating they already knew NY FarmNet provided this service. Stress management was followed by business planning, financial counseling, and family communication management, all with a response rate between 83 and 87-percent.
“We are encouraged by the feedback we received on our services,” said Amelia Parseghian, Program Coordinator for NY FarmNet. “This evaluation provides us with a roadmap of where we need to take the program in coming years. It has allowed us to identify opportunities for expanding support of the NYS agricultural industry. We hope that everyone who participated in either of the surveys will take the time to read the full evaluation.” To read the full publication, go to https://bit.ly/34edctj
NY FarmNet helps farmers, farm families, and agricultural professionals navigate times of crisis, growth, and opportunity. The program was founded by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University in response to the national 1980s farm crisis. NY FarmNet still operates at Cornell as part of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management. The Dyson School is part of both Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the SC Johnson College of Business. NY FarmNet is funded by the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, NYS Office of Mental Health, the private sector, and individual donations. If you are interested in making a donation to NY FarmNet, visit www.nyfarmnet.org and click the banner across the top. Contact Amelia Parseghian, Program Coordinator, email@example.com with any questions or for more information.
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