A multifaceted program ensured successful farm succession and farm
stress education and engaged a diverse group of Pennsylvania farmers. The Healthy
Farms, Healthy Minds resources initiated conversations regarding the
importance of farmers addressing mental health challenges.
Video conferencing was utilized for farm succession workshops
educating 35 participants at four locations across Pennsylvania simultaneously.
Facilitators and speakers ensured all locations participated in the
program and were provided opportunities to ask questions. Workshop topics included family communication,
finances, senior generation income options, legal implications, selecting a qualified attorney, and stress management.
Healthy Farms, Healthy Minds, a resource covering farm stress, depression and suicide, was created by WellspanPhilhaven. Printed copies were distributed to all farm succession workshop participants, and each was given a copy to share with someone else. The brochure was also introduced at the Cornucopia, an event highlighting agriculture at the state capital. Many elected officials asked for copies, and Pennsylvania's Secretary of Agriculture sought a quantity to pass out across the state. It was then used at all mental health round tables the Department of Ag held across Pennsylvania. This is the first and best resource available that relates to farmers in such a manner.
A mental health video was also developed and uploaded to the
internet (and thus is available 24/7). To date 89 people have accessed it. In addition, a project team member was invited to present during the Pennsylvania Department of Ag Mental Health Town Hall, and that event had 2,000 unique views.