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BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) to address farm and ranch stress and mental health in North Dakota.

NDDA will partner with North Dakota State University and the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education to initiate, expand or sustain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance as necessary through farm telephone helplines and websites; training programs and workshops; support groups; and outreach services and activities.

“Since 2013, the ag sector in North Dakota has been heavily impacted by stress factors, including both moisture and drought conditions, reduced commodity prices and trade difficulties,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “These stresses not only create severe financial stresses in agriculture, but elevate negative effects on physical and mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing of those working in agriculture. In turn, such conditions place the larger agricultural system at risk. This grant will enable the development of the North Dakota FRSAN to help mitigate those stressors.”

This work is supported by the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, grant no. 13388044/project accession no. 1027224, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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