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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Coping with rural stress

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Weathering difficult times

Extension's rural stress task force applies programming and expertise from across Extension to help families and small towns respond to current economic, environmental and societal challenges that overwhelmingly affect rural Minnesota and farming communities. The team works with state agencies and agricultural organizations as well as colleagues throughout the University.

Many Extension faculty and staff live and work in rural Minnesota. They respond daily to issues faced by the people and organizations in their counties. They've compiled the resources on this page to streamline access to financial help and mental health resources in greater Minnesota.

Need immediate help?

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline is free, confidential and available 24/7. This call center is located in Minnesota. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts — call. Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone you don't know.

1-833-600-2670 x 1

Farm Information Line

For general questions or to set up a financial counseling session, contact the Farm Information Line. You'll get reliable, research-based answers from Extension agriculture and natural resources experts. It is a statewide service backed by a network of local educators, so you'll get information to meet your needs.

Call: 1-800-232-9077
Hours: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
Afterhours: Leave a voicemail and we'll return your call the next business day.
Anytime: Email us at fil@umn.edu.

Resources for difficult times

Find help, counseling, advocacy, legal and referral resources.

Farm financial counseling

Experiencing financial stress? Get free, confidential financial counseling.

Farmer-Lender Mediation

Need help with farm debt? Learn how mediation can help.

Mental health


Help for families and children


Resources from around the state and the country

Coping with Farm & Rural Stress connects to the people and organizations from around the state that are ready to help. Extension is a partner with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in delivering programs and resources for farmers and those experiencing stress in rural Minnesota.

Rural resilience training course — The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting economic turmoil have only added to farmers’ and ranchers’ stress. A free online Rural Resilience course, created by Farm Credit Council and multiple partners, is now available for farmers and rural community members. Please contact Brittany Jablonsky (jablonsky@fccouncil.com) to learn more about the Rural Resilience course.

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