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    A new Farm & Rural Helpline is now available to Minnesota farmers and rural residents. The service, funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), is free, confidential, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll free number is 833-600-2670.

    Farmers and rural communities face unique stresses and emotional situations, including financial challenges, unpredictable weather, physically demanding work, and more. As stress, anxiety, depression, financial burdens, and other mental and emotional issues continue to impact the lives of farmers and rural Minnesotans, the MDA recognized the need for ongoing support.

    “I farmed for 24 years, so I’m no stranger to the stress and worry that can be part of farming,” said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “I know that sometimes it helps to talk to someone about problems that can seem insurmountable. There is always help available around the corner.”

    As an active farmer during the economic crisis of the 1980s, Commissioner Frederickson experienced first-hand the emotional toll farming can take on individuals and families.

    He also knows that resources are available in Minnesota to families navigating the unique challenges facing farmers on a daily basis. 

    The Farm & Rural Helpline can connect callers to financial assistance programs, health and mental health services, legal help, and more. Calls are confidential, but counselors may ask for a first name and phone number in case of a dropped call. Translation services are also available, with translators available in all languages.

    The Farm & Rural Helpline is also available to those unsure of what to do about family or friends who may be experiencing anxiety, depression, or a mental health crisis.

    The line was established in the fall of 2017. From July 2017-June 2018, they have received 101 calls. The biggest concern callers had were for mental health (34 callers), followed by basic need concerns (13), relationship (13), business (8), legal issues (6), career (4), suicide (3), loneliness (3), grief/loss (2), medical/dental (2) and addiction (1).

    Farmers and rural Minnesotans can call the toll free number as often as needed at 833- 600-2670.

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