Mental Health Innovations in Agricultural Communities

Summary: This session is a panel presentation that communicates a forward vision addressing disparities in agricultural mental health. The presenters will explore the development of a farmer specific hotline, the efforts of a state department of agriculture, and suggested strategies to address a central objective-to meet the mental health needs of ALL agricultural producers and their families. This session is designed to spark discussion, ideas, collaborations between community and governmental groups to thoughtfully build a mental health safety net across cultures.

Intended Audience: Ag producers, farmers, ranchers, farm families, rural and ag community members, rural and ag policy makers, health and safety professionals 

Objectives: At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to...

1. Describe diverse, cultural characteristics of rural and agricultural communities to inform innovation in mental health.

2. Understand the scope of work required to develop a farmer specific hotline.

3. Discuss program strategies that could address the gaps of mental health programming.

4. Explore state-level efforts to address disparities in mental health and agriculture.

Thank you to our generous program sponsors:


Tara Haskins, DNP, MSN, RN, AHN-BC

Total Farmer Health Director, AgriSafe Network

Tara Haskins is a registered nurse with 33 years of clinical experience. She holds a Masters in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Forensics. For the last 12 years, she has been a nurse educator in psychiatric-mental health concepts. Tara has experience in crisis/suicide intervention and addiction treatment in both outpatient and inpatient settings. She is a 2018 AgriSafe Nurse Scholar graduate. As a National Rural Health Association Fellow, she collaborated on a policy paper on disaster preparedness and response in rural communities. Tara continues to advocate at a national level for rural health services and programming.

Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh,

Commissioner- Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

In April 2018, Governor Ralph Northam appointed Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh as the 16th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Dr. Bronaugh most recently served as the Executive Director of the Center of Agriculture Research, Engagement and Outreach (CAREO) at Virginia State University. She previously served as the Virginia State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), where she was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in July 2015. Dr. Bronaugh is the first African American female in the nation to serve in this capacity.

Prior to being appointed to FSA, she served as the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University (VSU) for 5 years, where she led the strategic vision for the Extension and Research divisions and the academic departments. In her earlier career at VSU, she was the Associate Administrator of Cooperative Extension and a 4-H Youth Development Specialist, where she developed and delivered programs that addressed issues of bullying among youth.

In spring 2019, she launched the Farmer Stress Task Force, organized in partnership with agricultural and health related agencies and organizations, to raise awareness and coordinate resources to address farmer stress and mental health challenges in Virginia.

Joan M. Mazur, PhD

Professor, Southeast Center for Agriculture Health and Injury Prevention, University of Kentucky

Joan M. Mazur, Ph.D. is Professor of Instructional Systems Design in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction where she also serves as a Director of the Digital Learning & Design P-20 Innovation Lab. Her research is primarily interdisciplinary and has focused on narrative forms of instruction, mediating technologies and inquiry, and recently on teacher professional development and coaching for innovative classroom learning technology as part of the P-20 Innovation Initiative. She teaches graduate classes in digital gaming, social media design, technology integration in the secondary schools and mixed methods research. She has collaborated with the Colleges of Engineering, Agriculture, Public Health, and Arts and Sciences and numerous public school districts on various projects, funded by NSF, NIOSH, DoDEA and various private foundations including BellSouth and James Graham Brown.

Joan began at UK in 1993 after receiving her doctoral degree from Cornell University in Curriculum & Instruction. Mazur lives with her husband on their farm in Willisburg in Washington County.


Webinar: Mental Health Innovations in Agricultural Communities
Recorded 09/22/2020
Recorded 09/22/2020
Evaluation- NFSHW
5 Questions
No credits available  |  Certificate available
No credits available  |  Certificate available