In the News
Apr 19 2018
WASHINGTON (WBAY) - A new, bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate aimed at preventing farmer suicides.
Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) joined Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) in the FARMERS FIRST Act.
It would provide funding from the US Department of Agriculture for states to establish help lines, provide suicide prevention training for farm advocates, create support groups, and establish an assistance network.
Baldwin says the act will ensure farmers, especially in rural areas, get mental health support in difficult times.
The senators point to a Centers for Disease Control study which found agricultural workers have the highest suicide rate of any occupation.
FARMERS FIRST is an acronym for Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental health and Encouraging Rural Solutions For Immediate Response to Stressful Times.
The bill has the support of the farm groups, including the National Farmers Union, Wisconsin Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, National Corn Growers Association and National Rural Health Association.