Looking for stress, anxiety, or mental wellness resources?
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is developing its new program, MassGrownWellness, which will provide resources, deescalation & de-stressing strategies, and recommendations for counseling. You can view their current library of resources HERE. In developing this, they’ve worked in partnership with FarmFirst, a Vermont-based farm mental health service provider; most of their services are for VT farmers, but many are universally accessible. Also, check out FarmAid, which has a crisis hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID, Monday-Friday, 9am-10pm. Consider reading this journal article from the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, which explores beginning farmer mental health in the Midwest.
If the root of your stress feels like it’s related to some form of conflict, check out the Agricultural Mediation Program from UMass, which can provide mediation for family land transfer, legacy planning, neighbor or employee disputes, and more.
Interested in an open web forum space to engage with local farmers?
Check out Northeast Ag Exchange, Eastern Massachusetts CRAFT, Ag Solidarity Network, and Farm Commons. Consider joining email lists offered by Tufts University: COMFOOD and URBANAG are two relevant offerings. Seasonal farmworkers should also check out Not Our Farm for resources, support, and space to connect!
Seeking collaboration with BIPOC farm and food system advocates?
This working list of BIPOC-led organizations, farms, antiracist media, and more is provided and updated by the University of Washington. Check out the MA Food System Collaborative’s Agricultural Equity Network, too.
Want to attend workshops with regional farmers?
You can learn new skills while connecting with farmer neighbors through the following organizations: Beginning Farmer Network of MA, Young Farmer Network, Urban Farming Institute, Eastern Massachusetts CRAFT, Greenhorns, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), and Farm Commons.
Looking for mentorship or referrals to established farmers and farm service providers?
SEMAP may be able to help match you with a local expert through our business assistance program. Other organizations may also be able to assist in this pairing, including Beginning Farmer Network of MA, USDA New Farmers, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC), and Urban Farming Institute. Rhode Island farmers can request mediation for conflict arising in lease crafting, land transfer, loan servicing, and other agriculture-related issues through the Center for Mediation & Collaboration (CMCRI).
Trying to start a community garden?
Check out this guide, researched and drafted by Reba Elbourn, a recent Honors graduate of Bristol Community College’s Sustainability program and founder of a community garden in New Bedford. It’s comprehensive & regionally-specific, and we are so grateful to Reba for all the hard work that made it happen!