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ND Dept. of Agriculture receives $500,000 in federal money for farm and ranch stress programs

North Dakota Department of Agriculture

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has received a $500,000 federal grant to help address farm and ranch stress and mental health.

"As farmers and ranchers, you try not to complain or say too much," said state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. "But the reality is, they withdraw, they become isolated and that makes it worse."

Goehring said that's especially true, when you see suicide rates growing in agriculture, especially in the Dakotas and in the upper Midwest."

Goehring said farmers have had a tough time, especially with the drought conditions of the past year.

"They dealt with the drought," Goehring said. "Markets have actually gotten better. But the farmers don't have anything to sell into the market, and now they see expenses just skyrocketing on them."

Goehring said the Department will partner with NDSU and the Department of Career and Technical Education to initiate, expand or sustain programs that provide behavioral health counseling and other services for those in the ag community feeling stress