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Creating collaboration among organizations that support the mental and behavioral health of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers is the focus of a Summit being sponsored by AgWell during the last week of September. The Summit will take place at the Guidestone Hutchinson Homestead in Salida, Colorado from 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 28 through 12:00 noon Thursday, September 29.

“There are so many amazing individuals and organizations supporting the mental and behavioral health of farmers ranchers and ag workers,” says AgWell Director, Clinton Wilson, “We are looking forward to having  many of them in to the same space to build relationships and connect around opportunities to collaborate and  work together more intentionally.”

With suicide rates, substance abuse, and mental health issues skyrocketing in America’s rural and frontier communities, a number of nonprofits and farmer/rancher support programs have been founded to assist those who are struggling. However, many of these groups work in remote and isolated areas themselves. The Colorado Agricultural Behavioral Health and Well-being Summit will provide a space for nonprofits working to alleviate the issues of rural stress to connect and collaborate. Topics to be discussed include the specific focus of each organization, as well as strengths, struggles, and opportunities to collaborate.

Representatives from the following groups will be in attendance:

  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union/AgWell
  • Colorado Department of Agriculture
  • Colorado Farm Bureau
  • La Plata Family Centers Coalition
  • Southeast Health Group
  • AgrAbility
  • Land Logic
  • Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Western Sports Foundation
  • Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program
  • Farm Aid

AgWell is a special project of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union founded to provide stress management support to agricultural workers throughout Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. AgWell works through a  collaborative network of community partners to connect farmers, ranchers, agricultural workers, and their families to the resources they need to get the support they deserve.

Featured image: A bull about to enter a chute at the Chaffee County Fair. Photo by Brooke Gilmore