June 2021 FRSAN-NE Newsletter


LGBTQIA+ farmers lead movements for justice and equity in agriculture.

This Pride Month, learn more about queer farmers’ efforts in the Northeast and across the nation to reduce identity-based oppression and change the landscape of farmingFRSAN-NE’s Queer Service Provider Cohort aims to bolster LGBTQIA+ farmers in the region and train service providers to better support queer farmers. For example, check out Network Member Rock Steady Farm’s Pronouns 101 guide to “help us all be in community together.”

This newsletter shares training opportunities on mental health, workshops supporting Latinx farm worker communities, Legal Food Hub’s Resource Library, and features Farm First in Vermont.

Upcoming Network Events and Trainings

 

Making Mental Health a Priority within Connecticut Agriculture

Please join UConn Extension for this virtual discussion on Thursday, June 10th from 7-8pm. Tom Steen from Steen Consulting is a Master Trainer in suicide prevention, postvention, and grief support. Tom will lead an open discussion around this critical topic with a mixed panel of agriculture service providers, farmers, and mental health professionals.

This webinar is free and open to all.

To register email MacKenzie White to receive the WebEx link: mackenzie.white@uconn.edu.

For those who cannot attend live, it will be recorded and posted at https://ctfarmrisk.extension.uconn.edu following the session.

Outreach and Stress Assistance Support for Northeast Latinx Farmers and Farm Workers

The Northeast Latinx community represents an incredibly diverse cross section of cultures, dialects, and backgrounds. Farmers and farm workers come from many countries across North, Central and South America, each with a rich and unique history. Hosted by FRSAN-NE’s Training Working Group, this workshop series will prepare agriculture service providers to better understand, connect, and provide outreach to and connect stress assistance and mental health support services to the diverse urban to rural Latinx farmer and farm worker communities who are the backbone of the regional food system.

Participation is encouraged across all three sessions as each session will build on the concepts presented by speakers on each topic area. Please share with your extended networks! 

Session I:  June 15th; 10:00-11:30 AM
Planting Seeds: Supporting Thriving Latinx Farmer and Farmworker Communities
Register here
Learn about the populations of Latinx communities in the various Northeast agricultural sectors (dairy, poultry, specialty crops, others) that represent the diversity, complexity, and considerations of these differences. See detailed flyer for our esteemed speakers.

Session II: July 13, 10-11:30am
Cultivating Connection: Culture and Communication
Register here

Explore the stigmas, perceptions, and culture of Mental Health or Behavioral Health among the Latinx community.  Learn about the power relationships between farm owners, farm managers, and farm workers and how to navigate root causes of stress.   

Session III: August 10, 10-11:30am
Harvesting Health: Provision of Services and Outreach
Register here

Fill your toolbox with practical outreach strategies and opportunities to make effective referrals to support mental health, stress reduction, and health and well-being among the Latinx farmer and farmworker community using culturally and linguistically preferred methods.

 

Migrant Clinicians NetworkWitness to Witness Recordings

Missed the FRSAN-NE Witness to Witness trainings this spring? Watch the recordings using the below links and complete the evaluation.

Session 1
Witnessing: Understanding the Effects of Overexposure to Stories of Hardship & Trauma and What to Do About It

Session 2
Managing Stress During Uncertain Times

Legal Food Hub: Resources for New England Agriculturalists

The Legal Food Hub, a project of Conservation Law Foundation, provides pro bono legal assistance to qualified farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food-oriented nonprofits in New England. By supporting those who grow, produce, and sell our local food, we’re helping to foster a sustainable, resilient, and just food system. And a healthy and thriving local food system means a healthy environment, climate, and economy for all New Englanders.

Our network of volunteer attorneys provide legal assistance in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont. In Vermont, the Hub is hosted by the Center for Agriculture & Food Systems at Vermont Law School. Income-eligible participants are introduced to an attorney who has the expertise they need to accomplish their legal goals. During 2020, the Hub placed 105 cases across the region. The Hub’s volunteer attorneys donated more than 2,000 hours of time to help participants, amounting to over 3.8 million in finances.

In addition to matchmaking for free legal services, the Hub has created dozens of free guides to help small farmers and food businesses understand legal essentials that could affect their operations. Guides range in topic from nonprofit formation to trademark law, to employment law. During the winter, the Legal Food Hub also offers a free webinar series. Check out all of these user-friendly resources at our Resource Library.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Legal Food Hub at legalfoodhub@clf.org to learn more.

Network Member Feature: Farm First Vermont 

Farm First is a Vermont-based program that provides farmers and their families counseling and access to resources and information to reduce stress. The program was born just over a decade ago when milk prices again declined precipitously, and agricultural service providers noted a dangerous rise in Vermont’s dairy farmers’ stress and financial strain. Following a farmer suicide in New York, representatives from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture approached their employee assistance program (EAP) to ask if something like an EAP – which provides employees with access to free and confidential counseling for a range of issues – could be set up for farmers. Reducing employee stress has been correlated with improved morale and productivity, improved health, and reduced injuries on the job. Farm First began, providing mental health, legal, financial, and family support to Vermont’s farm community. Farmers contact Farm First for mental health related issues, often layered with financial, legal and relational considerations. Farmers receive joint support from a farm resource expert and licensed mental health counselors who are knowledgeable of and sensitivity to farmers’ unique needs. The farm resource expert can connect farmers immediately to resources, while the counselor provides ongoing support.

Visit Farm First’s new website for contact information and resources.

 

Farm First and FRSAN-NE

 

Kevin Channell (kevinc@farmfirst.org; 802-277-7599) is the program’s new Farm First Coordinator, the farm resource expert. Kevin comes to his new role as a Vermont farmer himself, raising beef cattle and greenhouse crops on his family farm. Kevin also has a Master’s degree in pastoral counseling, a background in agricultural finance, and experience as a farm business and tax advisor.

Farm First is directed by Karen Crowley (karenc@farmfirst.org) who represents the program on the FRSAN-NE Advisory Team. Karen leads both the Resources Working Group and the Mental Health Cohort.

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