Agriculture Professionals Invited to Free Mental Health Workshops

The Workshops Will Help Ag Professionals Gain Specific Skills for Navigating Mental Wellness in the Farm Community

Agriculture professionals who work directly with Pennsylvania livestock producers are invited to attend any of the six free mental health workshops happening throughout March and April. The interactive workshops will provide information on stressors that are specific to the agriculture industry and provide hands-on training to help navigate mental health issues in the farm community. 

“Most ag industry professionals are frequently on farms and in contact with producers every day, so they are tuned into when times are challenging and producers might be struggling. Typically, ag industry professionals are trained in production agriculture and not human health and well-being,” said Ginger Fenton, PhD, Dairy Extension Educator at Penn State Extension, and one of the presenters at the workshops. “The goal of these workshops is to help prepare ag industry professionals to recognize stressful situations and to be better equipped to provide tools and resources to share with farmers in times of need.”

Six free workshops will be held across Pennsylvania throughout March and April. The events will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Chambersburg
    Hoss’s Steak and Sea House
    20 Falling Spring Road
    Chambersburg, PA 17201
  • Tuesday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Lewisburg
    Best Western
    7701 West Branch Highway
    Lewisburg, PA 17837
  • Tuesday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Greensburg
    Hoss’s Steak and Sea House
    1261 S. Main Street
    Greensburg, PA 15601
  • Tuesday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Lancaster
    Lancaster County Farm and Home Center
    1383 Arcadia Road
    Lancaster, PA 17601
  • Tuesday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Mercer
    Mercer County Extension Office
    463 North Perry Highway
    Mercer, PA 16137
  • Tuesday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. –  Honesdale
    Wayne County Extension Office
    648 Park Street, Suite E.
    Honesdale, PA 18431

During each workshop, attendees will learn about the stressors that are specific to the ag industry and how to recognize signs of stress. They will also be trained on how to assess, approach, and offer assistance to farmers who are at risk and learn about the variety of tools and resources available for farmers.

“These workshops are ideal for anyone who is in contact with livestock producers and is concerned about their mental wellness and overall well-being. This might include lenders, ag agency personnel, nutritionists, inspectors and regulatory staff, veterinarians, educators, consultants, agronomists, and other ag industry professionals or farm family members,” Fenton added.

To register for one of the free mental health workshops, visit or call 717-346-0849.

The workshops are being offered as part of a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture effort, funded by a USDA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Grant. The Center for Dairy Excellence, Center for Beef Excellence, Center for Poultry & Livestock, PA Beef Producers Working Group, and Penn State Extension Dairy and Livestock teams are partnering to host the workshops.

For more information about the FRSAN grant or to learn more about the initiative, contact the following partners:

  • Center for Dairy Excellence – 717-346-0849
  • Center for Beef Excellence – 570-687-3150
  • Center for Poultry & Livestock – 717-651-5920
  • PA Beef Council – 814-623-2698
  • Penn State Extension Livestock Team – 484-614-7183
  • Penn State Extension Dairy Team – 724-662-3414