May News from North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center
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Welcome back to the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center. We have some exciting updates to share and important partners to recognize.

We are excited to unveil the center’s website! Please visit for resources and services for agricultural producers and workers in the 12-state north central region. The website provides resources by state and by topic, including other websites, telephone hotlines, and training resources. Check back often for updates and additions to the website. If you know of a resource that should be listed on the resource page, please let us know.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We will be making daily posts from the center’s Twitter account @farm_stress focusing on increasing awareness of mental health among agricultural populations, describing signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, sharing resources for agricultural producers, workers, and their families, and highlighting efforts from our partners. We hope you follow along!

Please continue to share this newsletter with colleagues and collaborators who might be interested.

Josie Rudolphi,
Courtney Cuthbertson,
University of Illinois Extension


Key Network Collaborator Update


Iowa State Extension and Outreach: 'Question. Persuade. Refer.'


Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has been offering 'Question. Persuade. Refer.' (QPR) to Midwesterners weekly on Tuesdays from 12 - 1 p.m. In 2021, they trained 124 Gatekeepers from nine states across the United States. During the months of May and June they will be focusing on offering QPR to faith community leaders across Iowa. Faith community leaders often regularly encounter farmers and ranchers and can help individuals who are in distress or at elevated risk for suicide, yet many faith leaders have not had specific and evidence-based suicide prevention training that would be beneficial to their work. Additionally, leaders of ALL faith communities play a powerful role in shaping attitudes, opinions, and behaviors because their members trust them. Volunteers and other informal members of the faith community play an important role too! Finally, faith community leaders are not immune to mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. Evidence-based programs like QPR can help them know what local resources are available to them as well as their community members.

Say "Yes" to saving the life of a community or congregation member in your life. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer. Find out more and register here:


Man thinking in rocking chair

Resource Spotlight


Illinois Extension: "A Moment for Mental Health" Videos

 A moment for mental health logo

What is mental health? What are specific strategies to manage stress? How do I know whether a friend, family member, or even I might need to reach out to a mental health professional? Where do I start? University of Illinois Extension created a series of short, 5-minute videos called “A Moment for Mental Health,” about a variety of mental health-related topics. These short videos have been shared in Illinois Extension agriculture-related webinars, and are available on YouTube. New videos will be released throughout the month of May.

Illinois Extension YouTube Channel


Partner Highlight


National AgrAbility

 Agriability logo

The North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center is proud to partner with National AgrAbility. National AgrAbiltiy, headquartered at Purdue University, delivers quarterly webinars related to farm stress. During the first year of the project, these webinars focus on underserved populations, such as farmers with disabilities, African American farmers, and farmer veterans.

The November webinar, An Overview of the USDA/NIFA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) with Focus on the North Central Region, was attended by over 70 individuals. Brent Elrod, the USDA/NIFA program leader, provided an overview of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) program, including its legislative authority, eligibility requirements, and funding history. He also described how FRSAN is part of a comprehensive effort that also includes USDA, other federal agencies, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Josie Rudolphi and Courtney Cuthbertson provided an overview of the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center and introduced the key network collaborators. They discussed region-wide initiatives and activities.

Stressors and Resources for Farm/Ranch Families with Disabilities, was hosted in February. Presenters include Robert Fetch, PhD, and Carey Portal. The webinar included professional and producer perspectives of the unique experiences and stressors for producers with disabilities. Both webinars are available at

AgrAbility consists of one National AgrAbility Project (NAP) and State/Regional AgrAbility Projects (SRAPs) currently funded in 20 states. Both the NAP and all the SRAPs must be partnerships between a land grant university and at least one nonprofit disability organization.


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