"Farmers First" Bill Aims to Provide Mental Health Support for Farmers, Ranchers, Ag Workers

Apr 23, 2018

Agricultural workers have a higher suicide rate than those in any other occupation.

That’s according to a 2016 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, Colorado’s U.S. Senators, Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, have introduced bipartisan legislation to provide farmers, ranchers, and ag workers with more mental-health support. The bill, known as FARMERS FIRST, would offer seed funding to nonprofits and state agencies to help establish support groups and help lines as well as other resources. In a release, Gardner, whose home is in a small rural town on Colorado’s eastern plains, said he sees farmers and ranchers today filing for bankruptcy, selling their property, or taking on more debt. He said, “We need to be there for our farmers and support our rural communities during times of hardship.”