Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has signed on as an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Seeding Rural Resilience Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), directs the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to raise awareness and carry out a public service campaign to address mental health issues surrounding farmers. It also establishes a voluntary stress management employee training program for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees that work with farmers, in order to give them direction on how to assist farmers in crisis. Additionally, it creates a task force to address mental health issues in rural areas.
“Farmers are faced with a variety of everyday stressors as they work tirelessly to provide for our communities,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation, which seeks to raise awareness of the unique issues surrounding mental health among farmers, and to help train those who work with farmers to better meet their needs. Unfortunately, mental health issues have impacted many rural areas of the North Country, and I will always advocate for programs to address these issues and support our hardworking farmers.”