CHS Community Giving $100,000 award supports farmer health and well-being

Two ranchers and their cattle in a pasture

Aug 26, 2019

Behavioral health helplines, mental health first aid training, and farm couple getaways to help manage stress and improve communication skills – those are a few projects CHS Community Giving is supporting to help farmers and ranchers navigate the uncertainties and stresses of agriculture production.

CHS Community Giving recently awarded $100,000 to eight organizations that help farmers, ranchers, health service providers and agribusiness professionals. The funds will help the organizations recognize unique behavioral health needs and issues faced by those in agriculture and identify ways to treat them. 

“During CHS owners forums this summer, a recurring theme was the need for services targeted to help farmers address the challenges they are facing,” says Jay Debertin, CHS president and CEO. “Assisting established organizations to address those challenges is one way we are serving the CHS purpose of creating connections to empower agriculture and providing support to our farmer-owners and rural communities.” 

Selected projects offer diverse support tools and approaches to serve farmers and ranchers. The following organizations and programs were selected:

  • AgrIInstitute: Ag and Rural Mental Health Symposium (Indiana)
  • Compass Behavioral Health: Ag Wellness (Kansas)
  • CROSS: Agricultural Mental Health Community Outreach (Iowa)
  • Northwestern Mental Health Center: HOPE (Help, Outreach, Prevention, Education) Coalition (Minnesota)
  • Ottawa Regional Hospital and Healthcare Center: Growing Mental Strength on the Farm (Illinois)
  • Red River Farm Network: Transfarmation (South Dakota)
  • University of Nebraska: Stress Management and Mental Health for Farmer Safety (Nebraska)
  • University of Wisconsin: Addressing Farm Stress and Social Isolation through Farm Couple Getaways and Farmer Peer Networking (Wisconsin)

CHS is also a long-time supporter of Farm Rescue, an organization that gives farmers planting, haying and harvesting assistance when faced with a health or weather-related crisis, including support to areas impacted by natural disasters. 

“Supporting our farmer-owners and helping to strengthen the communities in which they live and work reflects our cooperative spirit. It’s a priority for CHS. We are proud to partner with these organizations and help increase mental health support and resources in rural communities,” says Debertin.