Ag Committee Studies COVID-19 Impact on Farmers’ Mental Health

The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee delved into the widespread and devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of Pennsylvania’s farming community during a public hearing today (September 22) in Harrisburg, according to Committee Chairman Senator Elder Vogel (R-47th).

“Farming, by its nature, can be stressful even during the best of times. There are so many factors that are out the control of farmers, regardless of whether they are growing crops, managing livestock or even a combination of both,” said Senator Vogel, who operates a family farm in Beaver County that was established in the late 1800s. “The pandemic added a whole new set of factors to the equation and the added stress placed a substantial burden of the mental health of our farmers.”

Testifiers at today’s hearing included: Cliff Wallace from Lawrence County Farm Bureau; Jessica Peters and Frank Hartley, both farm owners; Ted Matthews, Minnesota Rural Mental Health Director with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture;  Elise Gurgevich, Ginger Fenton, Cynthia Pollich  and Brent Hales, all from the Penn State Extension; Mary Jane McNamee, Chair of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association; and, Kurt Fuchs from MidAtlantic Farm Credit.


Contact:         Matt Parido

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