Heroes of Hope, under the Farm Neighbors Care campaign, is focused on shedding light on rural heroes who have helped others through a tough time – i.e., helping harvesting crops while going through a tough time, providing positivity in their day-to-day careers, uplifting other farmers to get through a tough season, etc. Heroes of Hope aims to identify people who have helped bring hope to farmers or businesses, either in large or small ways. Members of the agriculture community are encouraged to nominate individuals who have made an impact on the way they conduct business, both ordinarily and extraordinarily.
Heroes of Hope will recognize five farmers who have helped out a neighbor with generous prize packages donated from local sponsors. These heroes also will have their stories told through Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Rural Route magazine. Nominations will be open May 1-21 and winners announced May 28.
Farm Neighbors Care was created by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, with help from other agriculture organizations, in the spring of 2019 to shed light on mental health in the farming community. Key aspects of this program:
- 91% of rural adults say mental health is important to them and their family.
- 31% of rural adults have personally sought help for a mental health condition, and 24% have a family member who has sought care for a mental health condition.
- A 2017 study revealed that farmers and ranchers had a suicide rate that was, on average, 3.5 times that of the general population.
- Farmers are facing stress due to low market prices, poor weather and crop conditions, etc.
- Farming can be an isolating career; the Farm Neighbors Care campaign asks rural residents to have face-to-face conversations with fellow farmers and agri-business owners, providing a dose of positivity to their day.
- Be a part of the solution and help end the stigma around mental health.