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Kentucky farmers honored for hard work
Kentucky Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles proclaimed September 17-23 Farm Safety and Health Week during a Farmer's Appreciation and Awards Day on the Capital Lawn in Frankfort.

Quarles said he hopes farmers will pay more attention to their mental health, as there is a stigma attached to mental health issues in rural America. He encouraged farmers to seek help from a counselor or therapist if they needed it.

Quarles also expressed his appreciation for farmers, saying that they are hard-working folks who don't always get the credit they deserve. He reminded Kentuckians about where their food comes from and encouraged them to appreciate their farmers more.

There are multiple factors that can affect one's mental well-being, and Quarles said he wants to make sure all factors are considered. He is working to create a rural-focused mental health awareness campaign to identify and address other sources of mental stress, such as financial loss due to weather or instability on the farm.

State Representative Brandon Reed presented Commissioner Quarles with a Citation of Appreciation for the services he brings to farmers and their families across the Commonwealth.

The Raising Hope initiative was highlighted at the ceremony this week. It is a grant funded partnership between state agencies that aims to support the physical and mental health of Kentucky farmers. Quarles said Raising Hope has produced rural health screenings and generated survey data from farmers.

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