We recognize a wide array of factors that contribute to high stress levels for farmers, ranchers, and others in agriculture. Chronic and acute stress can pose grave consequences for the mental, physical, and social health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Our Bend, Don’t Break initiative engages agency, nonprofit, and educational partners to help farmers and others in agriculture cope with adversity. It’s funded by Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Program award no. 2021-70035-35461 from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


Subawardee / Project Director



American Indian Community Housing Organization 
Michelle LeBeau

Indigenous Food Producer Resiliency Programs

Use traditional healing approaches to build personal and community resiliency to improve wellness (physical and mental health).

Big River Farms 
KaZoua Berry

Workshops about Managing Stress/Enhancing Wellness for BIPOC Farmers

Deliver culturally appropriate stress and wellness education to BIPOC farmers in three hands-on workshops and newsletters.

Farmers' Legal Action Group 
Scott Carlson

Attorney Education and Resources to Reduce Farmer Stress

Lower producer stress and anxiety by increasing the number of attorneys competent to advise producers on issues like bankruptcy, foreclosure, contracting, divorce, etc. through six training sessions and written materials.

Latino Economic Development Center 
Aaron Blyth

Latino Farmer Retreat

Conduct a 1.5 day facilitated retreat for 15 Latino farmers to explore stress challenge they encounter. Provide on-site professional mental health support.

Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) 
Esther Humphrey

Planting the Seeds for our Seventh Generation

Teach Anishinaabe perspectives and methods of traditional food gathering, preparing and preserving, agricultural methods, arts, and other sustainable life skills to multigenerational family groups of women.

Minnesota Dairy Initiative
Emily  Mollenhauer

Farm Couple Retreats

Deliver three relationship retreats for 30 farm couples in three regions of the state.

Minnesota Department of Health 
Tanya Carter

  • safeTALK T4T
  • Psychological Autopsies – Suicide
  • Suicide Prevention Conference for Faith Leaders
  • Coordinate suicide prevention train-the-trainer course for ten individuals serving farm and rural communities.
  • Coordinate suicide prevention train-the-trainer course for ten individuals serving farm and rural communities.
  • Engage with Minnesota Suicide Prevention Task Force to create suicide prevention conference for 150 rural faith leaders.

Red River Farm Network 
Don Wick

TransFARMation radio programs

Expand TransFARMation radio programs and podcasts into southern Minnesota, reaching 193,000 listeners on 49 stations.

South Central College 
Brad Schloesser

Professional Development Training for Farm Transition Facilitators

Two workshops will increase the knowledge and skills of 50 farm transition facilitators and team members.

University of Minnesota Extension 
Trish Olson

  • Ambiguous Loss T4T
  • 4-H Leader Training and Programming
  • Linking Stress and Safety for Farm Youth
  • Train 60 facilitators and conduct workshops that help 150 farm families recognize and cope with ambiguous loss.
  • Train 60 facilitators and conduct workshops that help 150 farm families recognize and cope with ambiguous loss.
  • Incorporate stress training into existing farm safety programs, teaching youth to manage stress and impulsive behaviors, that can lead to injury.

Urban Farm and Garden Alliance 
Melvin Giles

Connection and Social Support for Urban Farmers

Integrate stress support themes and programming into urban farm/gardener gatherings and an annual event for 350+ low-resource urban farmers, and community members.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture 
Meg Moynihan

  • New Farm Advocates
  • Farmer Mental Health Practitioner Conference
  • Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline
  • Farm Transition Support Network
  • Promotion and Outreach
  • Expanding Farm Advocate-type services to ethnically diverse (historically underserved) and outstate farmers.
  • Coordinate and host daylong professional meeting for 5-10 Minnesota rural mental health providers who serve farmers.
  • Continue this Helpline, which provides 24/7 support via phone, text, and email.
  • Enhance MDA Farmland Access Program by adding support network to mentor new transition facilitators.
  • Conferences, trade shows, paid advertising (print, social, broadcast) to promote Farm Advocates, Helpline, Farm Transition Teams/Network.