Rural America needs consistent access to adequate healthcare, including mental, specialty and telehealth options, ideally from professional providers who understand farmers and their unique challenges. Farmers are gamblers, juggling variables and balancing uncontrollable pressures from weather, commodity prices and the pressure of maintaining a multi-generational legacy. Coupled with a “go it alone” mentality many farmers embrace, they face undeniable pressure to tough it out in the face of adversity.
The stress of farm life is at a critical state with Covid-19 impacts, trade wars, natural disasters, depressed commodity prices, labor shortages and other factors. Given these ongoing challenges, it’s no surprise that more farmers and farm families are experiencing stress and health issues.
These issues could be mitigated by improving rural access to well-trained health professionals, reliable broadband and means of breaking through the stigma of mental health. Rural broadband is essential to modern agriculture and the quality of life for rural Americans.
Contact: Tonia Ritter | (517) 679-5345
MFB Policy #42 Michigan State University
MFB Policy #43 Broadband
MFB Policy #63 Health
AFBF Policy #154 Health
National Rural Health Association
MSU Extension Managing Farm Stress
Michigan Farm Bureau Farm Stress & Mental Health Resources
American Farm Bureau Farm State of Mind