Farmers First Act

By: Co+op

This article contains content about suicide. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, self-harm or crisis, dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

What it does

If Congress passes it, the Farmers First Act would address the mental health epidemic in rural America and expand access to critical mental health support and resources in agricultural communities. The bill would reauthorize the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), a program that connects farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture workers to stress assistance programs and resources. FRSAN regional centers increase access to farm stress services including expanding access to hotlines, training rural community members to recognize the signs of depression, anxiety or suicidal ideation, and creating support groups for farmworkers.

The Farmers First Act of 2023 increases funding available for the program to $15 million per year through 2028, allowing grantees to hire additional staff to support farmers, including behavioral health specialists to provide counseling to agricultural workers, and bolstering grantees’ efforts to address the unique needs of different farming populations, including Veteran farmers and farmers of color. Read a one page summary of the bill.

Who supports this bill?

The Farmers First Act is a bipartisan bill, which means it has some support from among both Democrats and Republicans. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Joni Ernst introduced this bill. In the Senate, this bill is referred to as S.1736 and these Senators are already supporting the bill. This bill has not yet been introduced in the House of Representatives.

This bill is endorsed by dozens of organizations, including National Farmers Union, National Young Farmers Coalition, Organic Trade Association, American Psychological Association Services, NCBA CLUSA, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and National Organic Coalition.

Want to support this bill?

If your Senators and House Representative aren’t already on the list of cosponsors for the bill:

  • Ask your two Senators to “cosponsor the Farmers First Act, S.1736.
  • Ask your House Representative to “support a companion bill to the Senate’s Farmers First Act, S.1736.”

If your elected officials are already supporting the Farmers First Act, you can always contact them to thank them and help spread the word among your networks.


If you’d like to learn more about the Farmers First Act, you can:

See more bills worthy of your support in the 2023 Farm Bill. 

Tags: farm bill