Cultivemos: The Network for Farmer Well-Being

Blog | April 3, 2024

Cultivemos: a network for cultivating farmer well-being

What is Cultivemos?

Cultivemos is a network of service providers, individuals and organizations dedicated to the mental, emotional, social, and financial well-being of agricultural producers, workers and their families. Cultivemos is made up of many individuals from over 90 organizations, including Farm Aid.

“Cultivemos” is a Spanish word meaning “we cultivate”

The 2018 Farm Bill created the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), a regional grant program with the goal of establishing a network to connect individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs. This network offers a pathway for improving mental health awareness and access to care for rural and agricultural communities.

Cultivemos is the name of the Northeastern region that is funded through FRSAN and includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The organizations administering this funding are Farm Aid, National Young Farmers CoalitionFarm FirstUniversity of Maine Cooperative ExtensionNortheast Farmers of Color Land Trust, and Migrant Clinicians Network. These organizations work together to carry out Cultivemos’ mission and reach farmers throughout the region.

The name “Cultivemos” is a Spanish word meaning “we cultivate” and is a metaphor; as a network, Cultivemos is growing a community to care for the health of farmers and farm workers, much like land is cultivated to prepare for healthy crops. Additionally the “we” is about being accessible and inclusive to people of all race, class, gender and other identities.

Historically, many people have been marginalized and discriminated against within services for farmers and farm workers. Cultivemos recognizes that this discrimination increases both individual and systemic stress and weakens our agriculture system. An important aspect of inclusivity is addressing language barriers by providing access in both Spanish and English, the primary languages of the communities with which Cultivemos works.

What does Cultivemos do?

Cultivemos supports all members of the agricultural community through connection, education, resources, and advocacy in order to address the unique stress and mental health struggles of agricultural communities. Here are just a few examples of projects that Cultivemos has spearheaded:

  • Cultivating Resilience, a six-part podcast all about skills and stressors in farming life, with many personal stories from farmers. Topics covered include succession, community, climate anxiety and farm finances.
  • The Farmer Resource Network, a database of resources tailored to supporting farmer and farmworker needs.
  • Stronger Together, a training to support all members of the agricultural community to engage in proactive support of mental health concerns in their daily work.
  • Convened the Farmer Advisory Board, made up of farmers from around the Northeast region who are paid for their time and ensure that Cultivemos meets the needs of those it serves.
  • Formed Cohorts who have been awarded funding to carry out a specific projects, such as the Mental Health Cohort and the Queer Farmer Cohort.

Cultivemos is one of four regional FRSAN grants. The other three regions are: North Central – North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center; South – Southern Ag Exchange Network (SAGE); and Western – Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP).

Farm Aid receives funding from Cultivemos, allowing us to increase our Hotline capacity, expand and translate the Farmer Resource Network into Spanish and launch the Spanish Hotline.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) project 2019-70028-30464 and 2020-70028-32729.

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