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Farm Stress

Farm stressors can come from many directions including the agricultural system, farm and family finances, mental and physical health challenges, and relationship difficulties. A healthy response to these challenges involves paying attention to the stressors within all of these areas and determining coping strategies that are useful in each area.

Agriculture Behavioral Health Voucher Program

SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Social Services and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources have partnered to offer a behavioral health voucher program for farmers, ranchers and their immediate family members.  The voucher program will provide funding for free mental health counseling services to farm families. Use the link below to learn how to receive a voucher.

Voucher Program

Use the playlist above to view our Farm Stress video series, including the 2019 South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit.

All Farm Stress Content

A child’s crayon drawing of various pets.

Losing Pets and Talking About Death

As we are dealing with illnesses and diseases running through our animal population, it is important to discuss the loss of a pets with children. Learn some expert tips for starting the conversation.

Three young farmers walking through a harvested field at sunset.
Jun 21

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training

SDSU Extension will host a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training Tuesday, June 21 from 5-6:30 p.m. on the campus of South Dakota State University.

A rancher inspecting a sample of alflafa in an open range.

Agriculture Behavioral Health Voucher Program

The voucher program provides funding for free mental health counseling services to farm families.

Female Native American rancher gazing into an open rangeland.

Taking Time for Reflection: Managing Stress With Positive Thinking

The practice of positive thinking can improve your physical and mental health, and new perspectives and optimism can bring renewed strength to managing stress on the farm and at home.

Three young farmers walking through a harvested field at sunset.

SDSU Extension Seeks Participants for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Focus Groups

January 28, 2022

SDSU Extension invites individuals involved in farming, ranching and agriculture to participate in a statewide comprehensive needs assessment on farm/ranch stress and mental health.

scrabble tiles arranged to spell mental health
Mar 03

Adult Mental Health First Aid Training (March 3, 2022)

Develop the skills needed to provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to South Dakotans experiencing stress and other emotional issues using evidence-based public education and prevention tools to improve your knowledge of mental health and connect people with care.

small group of cattle in a flooded pasture. FEMA News Photo

Livestock Loss Assistance

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is designed to provide a payment to livestock owners or contract growers who experience excess livestock deaths due to adverse weather, including winter storms, floods, extreme cold and blizzards, eligible disease and eligible attacks.

A producer meeting with an employee in a farmyard.

Leading Through COVID-19 on the Farm and Ranch

Producers can be quick to adapt and utilize technology, but sometimes need a little nudge in other areas. COVID-19 sometimes feels like one of the areas that agriculture needs a nudge in.

Dutch Dakota Dairy at Lake Preston South Dakota is inundated with snow after a recent blizzard that has made farm facility access very difficult due to extreme snow depth. Courtesy: Truus Schukking

Available Disaster Resources Given Recent Weather Events

Given the recent havoc endured by producers in the upper mid-west by the spring blizzard or even prior flooding we are aware that many producers have incurred losses. There are several programs available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help provide assistance.

a person standing outside watching the sunset

SDSU Extension to Host Summer Farm Stress Series

May 24, 2021

South Dakota State University Extension is launching additional virtual farm stress workshops to promote mental health awareness from May throughout the summer.