Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has introduced a bi-partisan bill, called the Farmers First Act, to help combat the high rate of suicides in the agriculture community.
Senator Ernst says that a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that agricultural workers have a higher rate of suicide than any other occupation.
Ernst says that there is an urgent need to act to combat this crisis in the rural states.
The Farmers First Act would provide funding from the United States Department of Agriculture to state departments of agriculture and other organizations to help fund resources to combat the suicide problem.
The bill also establishes a stress assessment committee to understand how agricultural workers’ mental health affects rural development. Ernst says with agriculture being the back bone of Iowa, it is essential that these resources are made available.