New Senate Bill Takes on Mental Health Issues in Farm and Ranch Country

Oct 22, 2019

102219 304

The struggling farm economy has Congress taking action aimed at preventing a mental health crisis. 

The Senate’s two farmers, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley and Montana Democrat Jon Tester, have introduced a bill to increase mental health services for farmers and ranchers. Grassley says the goal is to prevent suicide—something that exacerbated suffering during the 1980s farm crisis, and that is still a threat to farmers and ranchers.  Grassley’s hopeful rural communities and farmers will be more open to services now.

There’s a new look at mental health issues generally, without the stigma, I wouldn’t want to say there isn’t some stigma, but compared to the years that I’ve lived, practically gone away compared to what it was. 

The bill would dedicate $3 million to a multimedia public service campaign that would be a partnership between the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Grassley doesn’t anticipate controversy, though the bill doesn’t currently have a companion in the House. 

Our recent wet weather isn’t the best news for farmers trying to harvest here in Siouxland.

The U.S.D.A.’s most recent crop report showed 5 days suitable for fieldwork last week.  The corn harvest more than doubled with 15% of corn out of the fields.  However, that is still 11 days behind the average.  Illinois and Indiana growers’ activity ranks in the 30s’ percentile range.