Arkansas Department of Agriculture awards 3 grants to stressed Arkansas entities

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FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2020 file photo, a farmer discs over a corn field on at a farm north of Woodward, Iowa. The corn was damaged beyond salvage by the recent derecho. Thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income, U.S. farmers are expected to end 2020 with higher profit than 2019 and the best net income in seven years, the Department of Agriculture said in its latest farm income forecast. Farmers faced challenges throughout 2020 that included the impact of trade disputes; low prices that drove down cash receipts and weather difficulties. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Agriculture awarded Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grants to three Arkansas entities.

The grants expand or sustain stress assistance programs for individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations, according to a press release from the department.

The three selected entities are:

  • Arkansas PBS Foundation – $126,140
  • Agri Health Network – $100,000
  • University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture – $99,840

Arkansas PBS will use the funding to develop programs on mental health challenges faced by agricultural producers for on-air broadcast and on-demand, website, social media, and app viewing.

The grant funding provided to the Agri Health Network will expand the reach of its “That Farm Life” podcast, launched in March 2021 to provide a platform for those in the agricultural industry to share stories, resources, and create a safe zone where mental health issues specific to agriculture are addressed.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will use the grant funding to train 16 Mental Health First Aid trainers and create a website and virtual offerings for producers to engage with mental health experts and other producers remotely to learn and support healthy stress management.

Agriculture is an inherently stressful occupation that often requires individuals to work long hours and navigate through numerous factors that are beyond their control. Recipients of this grant funding are providing critically important services to the individuals that provide the food, fiber, fuel, and shelter that we all depend on every single day and that will help keep our state’s largest industry successful into the future,

Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward

The grants are administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network – State Departments of Agriculture Program (FRSAN-SDA).

 More information about the FRSAN program can be found here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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