We know that work in agriculture can be stressful. WRASAP is a group of organizations and community members across the Western region who value the agricultural community. Acknowledging the diversity of the Western region and changing demands of the agriculture industry, we are committed to working together so that everyone has the right tools and resources to cultivate resilience. We believe that the unique needs of agricultural communities must be addressed. WRASAP focuses on communication and collaboration with partners across the region to offer funding opportunities, support in navigating resources, compassion, and education.
WRASAP Lead Agencies
- California AgrAbility (University of California-Davis Extension)
- Colorado AgrAbility (Colorado State University Extension)
- Farm Aid
- Montana State University Extension
- Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU)
- University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension
- University of Idaho Extension
- University of Nevada, Reno Extension
- Utah State University Extension
- Washington State University Extension
In 2019/2020, Montana State University fostered a workgroup of members from 14 states in the Western region to actively discuss agriculture-related stress and the importance to meet this growing need for support. This group evolved to include WSU Skagit County Extension and Montana State University as the host institutions. Together, the group applied for a UDSA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) grant intended to stimulate a collaborative effort between 13 states and 4 territories in forming a network in the Western region. WRASAP was very fortunate to be funded to do work in farm stress/agricultural suicide prevention prior to the pandemic.
The project team understands that farmers and farmworkers are a vulnerable population and thus more susceptible than others to the psychosocial effects of environmental factors such as this pandemic. A 2020 poll from the American Farm Bureau showed that farmers/farmworkers are more likely than rural adults to say COVID-19 has impacted their mental health (66% vs 53%).1
Other collaborating organizations:
- American Samoa Community College
- College of Micronesia
- CommuniCare Health Centers (CA)
- Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture
- Health Education Council (CA)
- Idaho Dairymen’s Association
- National AgrAbility Project (NAP)
- New Mexico State Dairy Extension
- New Mexico State University Extension AgrAbility
- New Mexico State University
- Northern Marianas College
- Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
- Oregon State University
- Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH)
- University of Alaska Fairbanks AgrAbility and Extension
- University of Arizona Tribal Extension Program
- University of Guam
- University of Wyoming Extension
- Washington State Dairy Federation
- Washington State Department of Health
- Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS)
WRASAP GRANT cOMPONENTS
WRASAP consists of four grant components: Baseline, Networking, Outreach and Direct Services.
Conduct surveys and follow-up phone interviews with Agricultural Producers (in Year 1) and Agriculture Workers (in Year 2). Goal: each state/territory will receive a state report of analyzed data, in addition to a larger aggregated report. Data will be used to inform WRASAP education and outreach projects.
Network with programs including AgrAbility, embedding behavioral health competencies into existing service delivery. The National AgrAbility Project adds mental health components to their national trainings and regional conferences.
Apply baseline data to develop responsive, strategic education and outreach efforts to promote stress management and mental well-being. Enhance the capacity of network partners and community members in the Western Region to provide culturally-appropriate educational programming, informational resources, and referrals to direct services.
Services for farmers include Farm Aid Resource Hotline (extended hours), Rural Peer Assistance Network, Everyday Democracy, peer support groups, Promotores outreach, mental health intervention curriculum development, and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)/Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings.
USDA FRSAN Funding History
The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) program was “created to establish a network that assists farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture-related workers in times of stress.”2 The most recent FRSAN funding for FY 2020 was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill to help launch four regional networks in America in efforts to expand opportunities for individuals and their families to find help in their communities and states.3
The Western Regional Stress Assistance Program is only one of four regional entities funded by USDA-NIFA in 2020. These four regional entities make up the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. Learn more.
1 Morning Consult. (December 2020). “Impacts of COVID-19 on Rural Mental Health.” [PowerPoint Presentation].
2 USDA NIFA (2019, Oct. 22) USDA’s NIFA Invests $1.92 Million in Grants to Launch the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network.
Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
North Central Region
North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center: Engaging Programs to Support Producer Wellbeing