Pass the Farmers First Act

Parity, Coverage, & Equitable Access
Diverse Workforce
social determinants of health
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Rural Communities
Coverage & Standards
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Federal department
house committees
House Agriculture Committee
senate committees
Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee


Congress should pass the Farmers First Act of 2023 to reauthorize the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), which would increase funding for the program, authorizing $15 million per year for the program for the next five years, up from $10 million.[1]


Individuals involved in agricultural work or farming often encounter many challenges that may impact their mental health. Challenges related to volatile agricultural commodities markets, weather and even climate change can contribute to the stressors on farmers and agricultural workers. At the same time, there is often a shortage of healthcare providers to address the needs of agricultural communities. The American Psychological Association notes that rural areas experience shortages of mental health care providers and stigma around mental health.[2]

The FRSAN program connects farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture workers to stress assistance programs and resources. Through FRSAN, state departments of agriculture, state extension services, and non-profits receive funding to establish helplines, provide suicide prevention training for farm advocates, and create support groups for farmers and farm workers. Under the Farmers First Act, departments of agriculture across many states and non-profit organizations are provided the necessary funding to establish helplines, suicide prevention training for farm advocates, and support groups.[3] Congress should prioritize reauthorizing this important program serving the mental health needs of farming communities.


1. Farmers First Act of 2023. S. 1736 (Baldwin-Ernst), 118th Congress (2023-2024). Last Updated May 18, 2023.

2. American Psychological Association. Supporting Increased Federal Funding for Farm and Ranch Worker Stress Assistance Network. Last Updated April 21, 2022.

3. Sen. Michael Bennet. Bennet, Baldwin, Ernest Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Mental Health Resources for Farmers, Rural Communities (Press Release). Last Updated May 22, 2023.