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Resources for help with farm and rural stress

By Angie Peltier and Claire LaCanne, UMN Extension crops educators

Figure 1. Standing water in a soybean field near
 Faribault, MN in 2024. Photo: Claire LaCanne

Being a small business owner can be a nerve-wracking profession. For farmers, this means adding in both the fact that the quantity and quality of the product you produce is subject to the whims of Mother Nature and that global supply and demand for what you produce impacts your take-home pay. Folks can only imagine how stressful being a crop producer can be. The weather conditions have added plenty of stress and unknowns lately. While many areas of Minnesota saw drought conditions on and off since 2021, the 2024 growing season has found many dealing with the exact opposite problem: extreme rain events leading to ponded or flooded fields and crop loss (Figure 1).

The uncertainty of how this severe weather will ultimately affect the crop can feel stressful. Try to remember that you are an important part of your family, your social circles, your community, your county, your state and your country. All these folks are rooting for you: We need you and we need you to be okay! Try to be sure to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Here are some pointers for taking care of yourself under stress. Because of the unique stressors that are inherent to the job but are beyond your control, some of your tax dollars have been devoted to providing resources to help folks to deal with farm and rural stress.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture put together a website and brochure listing all of the resources available to assist with farm and rural stress management. These resources were developed to help and if you have no need for them, perhaps you know of someone that does need them. Please reach out and let folks know that you care by providing a copy of the brochure.

Resources from the brochure

Help with stress, anxiety, depression, feeling stuck, and crisis situations

The Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline:

  • Contact the helpline by phone: 833-600-2670
  • By text: Text FARMSTRESS to 898211
  • Or by email:

Minnesota Agricultural Mental Health Specialists

  • Ted Matthews: (320) 266-2390 
  • Monica McConkey: (218) 280-7785 
 Ted and Monica work with farmers throughout Minnesota. No cost; no paperwork. The service is available thanks to funds from the Minnesota Legislature. While you are welcome to contact either Monica or Ted, Monica generally serves the area north of Highway 12 (which runs from Ortonville through Willmar to the Twin Cities) and Ted generally serves the area south of Highway 12. 

Mobile Crisis Teams 

  • Available in every Minnesota county, mobile crisis team counselors can respond quickly and provide in-person, short-term counseling or mental health services during a crisis or emergency. Calls are answered immediately 24 hours/day. Responders travel in private vehicles and generally arrive within 2 hours. 

Addiction Help (alcohol, meth, opioid, gambling) 

  • If you or someone you care about are struggling with addiction, Fasttracker MN can help you quickly find treatment services. You can search by program, city, county, or keyword. 

NAMI Minnesota 

  • NAMI Minnesota is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families. They offer information, classes, support groups, and suicide prevention training. 

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 

  • Phone: 988 

Crisis Text Line 

  • Text: MN to 741 741 
Both the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line offer immediate free and confidential support for people in distress. They give information about prevention and crisis resources to people who are worried about themselves or someone else. 

University of Minnesota Extension 

  • Extension helps families and small towns respond to economic, environmental, and societal challenges that affect rural Minnesota and farming communities. Its Coping with Rural Stress page points the way to financial and mental health resources. 

Help with Daily Living 

  • Click here for help with food, heat, electricity, health care, childcare, senior programs, etc. 

Business, Financial and Legal Help 

  • Click here for help with business and legal problems.

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