URBANA, Ill. – Even without the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural producers experience high levels of anxiety, depression, substance use, and death by suicide. Researchers at the University of Illinois and Illinois Extension are working to ensure producers and their families have the resources and access to services to manage their stress and mental health.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) grant program, awarded nearly $7.2 million in investment funding for the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center (NCFRSAC), a 12-state collaborative that will create and expand stress management and mental health resources and services to agricultural producers and stakeholders in the North Central region.