Wisconsin joins 12-states in effort to help with farmers’ mental health

Mental health is important.
Mental health is important.(PIXNIO)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 7:15 AM CST
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - Wisconsin is part of a new 12-state effort to deal with farmers' mental health. The Farm Center at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is working with the other states to provide education, resources and support to farmers, ag service professionals and mental health care providers to help farmers dealing with stress and to reduce suicide risks in rural communities. The work, led regionally by the University of Illinois and the Illinois Extension, also will be done in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Division of Extension. Wisconsin will receive more than $400,000 of a $7.2 million Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance has released its 2021 edition of its annual alfalfa variety ratings publication. The publication lists ratings for varieties for fall dormancy, winter survival, and disease and pest survivability. It’s available at the alliance’s Web site,

American Farm Bureau officials are saying a recent survey indicates a majority of Americans believe farmers and ranchers are operating in a sustainable fashion. The organization’s survey said 58 percent of people rank farmers' sustainability practice positively; nine out of 10 adults in the study say they trust farmers - a 4 percent increase from the organization’s last survey, taken in June.

The state’s Christmas tree-cutting season officially will be kicked off Wednesday when Alice in Dairyland Julia Nunes of Chippewa County hosts the annual ceremonial first tree-cutting. This year’s first-cutting ceremony will be held virtually, at 10 a.m. Wednesday on the Alice in Dairyland Facebook page. Besides the cutting, Nunes will take viewers on a virtual tour of the host farm, Evergreen Acres in Walworth County. Wisconsin is fifth among states in Christmas tree production, annually harvesting more than 600,000 trees valued at $16 million on about 23,300 acres. There are about 850 Christmas tree farms in Wisconsin.

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