Project Goals

This project seeks to create the first statewide farm stress network of stakeholders and educational resources for farmers and ranchers in Montana. To do this, a Montana Farm/Ranch Stress Prevention Advisory Council, comprised of members from the agricultural, health, tribal, veteran, local government and Montana State University communities, will first be formed. This Council will work together to oversee the creation of an online clearinghouse of stress prevention/mitigation resources as well as a variety of radio/television/podcast/webinar educational resources. Funding will be used to convene the Advisory Council as well as to develop and market the online clearinghouse and educational resources throughout Montana. The project’s goal is twofold: 1) to open up the conversation about the causes and effects of stress, thereby destigmatizing conversation surrounding this topic, and 2) to equip community members with evidence-based farm stress and mental wellness resources to assist them in managing their stresswhich will ultimately lessen the risk of mental illness and suicide among Montana’s farming and ranching communities.


Project Funding

Funding to MSU Extension from the Montana Healthcare Foundation created this website to support Montana ag producers under stress. Organizations, educators and individuals from across the state are working together to locate research based, reliable, and current resources. Our goal is to offer many resources on stressors that ag producers, their families, and rural and tribal community members face.

If you find a stressor that you feel is not being addressed, please contact Michelle Grocke or fill out the form below with suggestions. 

This website will always be a work-in-progress. New resources will be reviewed by our advisory council and added to the site.

Project Components

Component #1: MSU Extension will establish, and serve as the lead facilitator for a diverse, statewide farm/ranch stress prevention advisory council.

Based on the ‘Working Effectively with Advisory Councils and Other Leadership Groups” a publication developed by North Dakota State University Extension, the first Montana Farm/Ranch Stress Prevention Advisory Council will be established so that all members will better understand, and then be able to represent, the unique farm/stress needs of community members throughout the state to governing bodies and decision makers at all levels. Several key organizations have already committed to serving on this advisory council (i.e. MT Farm Bureau, the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Bureau and the Fort Belknap, Blackfeet and Fort Peck Indian Reservations), and will help us to further identify members of the council (i.e. local MT physicians and psychiatric mental health NPs). Dr. Michelle Grocke, Health & Wellness Specialist for MSU Extension, will serve as lead facilitator - after convening a kick-off meeting in Lewistown, MT, Dr. Grocke will facilitate monthly meetings via a web-based platform to discuss project successes, challenges and opportunities. The Council will meet again face-to-face at Fort Belknap at the end of the project period to ensure project sustainability.

Component #2: MSU Extension will create an online Farm Stress Prevention Website clearinghouse.

Until recently, MSU Extension did not have the human capital and/or the resources to create an online resource bank of materials to help community members better understand the causes of stress and/or how they can become agents of change in their own stress prevention/management. This resource bank will include fact sheets, articles, podcasts, webinars, easy-to-read tips for stress prevention/management, as well as links to local, state and national resources. MSU Extension is uniquely positioned to host this clearinghouse of materials as its network is statewide. Once developed, this website will be linked to our partners' websites, social media platforms, etc. to further expand prevention/mitigation efforts.


Submit a Recommendation for the Clearinghouse Website

 The clearinghouse will be created using input from all available partners, council members, and intersted parties.  If you have a suggested resource, link, or idea you feel would be valuble to include, please use this form and send it to us.  The advisory committee will review it and follow up with you. 

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Your Name
Choose all the apply
Please provide more information and details on your recommendation here

Partner Organizations


Advisory Council Members

The council brings together individuals from across Montana, each with expertise and experience to assist with reaching our project goals.  If you know of an individual or organization which would be an asset as a council member, please contact Michelle Grocke

Alice Burchak
MSU Extension, Toole County
Shelby, MT
[email protected]

Darla Tyler-McSherry
Director, MSU Billings Student Health
Billings, MT
[email protected]

Hillary Maxwell
MSU Extension, Fort Belknap Reservation
Fort Belknap, MT
[email protected]

Jerry Collins
Garfield County Commissioner
Jordan, MT
[email protected]

Julie Riley
MSU Extension, Powder River County
Broadus, MT
[email protected]

Mark Schure, PhD
MSU Department of Health and Human Development
Bozeman, MT
[email protected]

Melissa Dale
Healthy Living Program Manager, MPH
Helena, MT
[email protected]

Rikki Swant
Central MT Regional Manager
Montana Farm Bureau Federation
[email protected]

Alison Brennan, PhD
MSU Extension & Health and Human Development
Bozeman, MT
[email protected]

Elise Gaboury
USDA Farm Service Agency
Malta, MT
[email protected]

Jeff Faycosh
Custer County Commissioner
Miles City, MT
[email protected]

Jesse Fulbright
MSU Extension, Liberty County
Chester, MT
[email protected]

Katie Levine
AFSP Executive Director for MT and WY
Missoula, MT
[email protected]

Mary Rumph
MSU Extension, Powder River County
Broadus, MT
[email protected]

Michelle Grocke, PhD
MSU Extension & Health and Human Development
Bozeman, MT
[email protected]