Farms First Act Funding Increased in Bi-Partisan Efforts

Last week, Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, helped pass the Farmers First Act to a Senate Appropriations Bill. The Senator joined Mike Adams on Adams on Agriculture to discuss new funding for the bill.

This was a bi-partisan effort between Iowa Senator, Joni Ernst. Both Senators represent farm states and say the what they are hearing from their state is the need to address mental health within farm country.

In the interview, Wisconsin Senator Baldwin specifically talked about America’s Dairyland. Roughly, 800 dairies have gone out of business in the last 2+ years. The Senator also connected unsettling statistics from the CDC that individuals working in agriculture are at a high risk of death by suicide.

The senator stressed the need for awareness and training within a community. Noting training and insight funds will go to anyone dealing first hand with farmers. The Senator said those individuals can be anyone from the milk truck driver to a loan officer. “It’s important that people who interact with farmers and farm workers that they know the signs.” The act focuses on outreach, training and connecting those individuals with the resources they need.

As for funding, the Act was part of the 2018 Farm Bill but annually the goal is to have adequate resources for the bill to work as expected. Last week, Senator Baldwin met within another Bi-partisan effort to raise the funding for Farmers First by $6 million to a total of $8 million.