As the only farmers currently serving in the U.S. Senate, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have successfully included their Seeding Rural Resilience Act – a bill aimed at curbing the rising rate of suicide in rural areas – as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and is now headed to the President’s desk.
“I’m glad to see this bill so widely supported by my colleagues. This is a clear message to farmers across the country that we stand with you and support you during these trying times,” Grassley said. “This is a commonsense bill that continues important efforts to raise awareness about mental health and will provide additional resources for farmers and their families facing difficult situations.”
“Rising rates of suicide among farmers and ranchers is a crisis that’s all too familiar to Montanans who have seen it devastate communities across our state,” Tester said. “Between stagnant commodity prices, market consolidation, natural disasters caused by climate change, and a lack of mental health care resources, the rate at which farmers and ranchers are taking their own lives is continuing to grow. This bill isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s a critical step towards breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health care and providing rural communities with the resources they need to thrive so they can keep doing what they do best—feeding the world.” Read more