Stress assistance clearinghouse available

     Midwest farmers and ranchers are facing unprecedented stressors and uncertainty imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, weather-related concerns and the derecho that impacted parts of the Midwest. As a result, mental health experts are predicting an increase in deaths by suicide due to the social isolation, economic stress and related factors.

     “That is why it is so important that farmers, ranchers and the agribusiness community have quick access to available programs and materials,” said David Brown, behavioral health specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

     Fortunately, resources are available through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Eight north central states have been collaborating to offer a clearinghouse of resources for the farm and ranch community. The current site can be accessed online at

     This site offers information on programs, hotlines, websites, publications and more that can benefit farmers and ranchers in these challenging times. This site also can be used to access the farm stress related websites for every university extension service in the north central region.

     “We are hoping this clearinghouse can assist farmers and ranchers and their family members who may be struggling with these challenging times,” said Brown.

     Any person in any north central state can also access the Iowa Concern Hotline. Offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, this hotline offers confidential access to stress counselors, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website,, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment.

     For more information, contact David Brown at




Subscriber Login