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University of Minnesota Extension

Coping with rural stress

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 Free, confidential, 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

When you call the Farm Information Line, you'll get reliable, research-based answers from Extension agriculture and natural resources experts. This statewide service is staffed by a network of local educators who deliver information to meet your specific needs. If they can't answer your question, they'll find someone who can.

The Farm Information Line also can connect you to farm financial counseling. Extension farm financial experts provide free, one-on-one financial counseling to farmers who are experiencing financial stress.

 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Afterhours: Leave a voicemail and we'll return your call the next business day.
Email: 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


Become a rural ally

A rural ally is someone who is open to understanding what is happening in rural Minnesota and how it affects the people who live there. Those who commit to being rural allies help strengthen connections across the state through lived experiences, shared information and open conversations.

You are the key to building alliances for rural Minnesota. As you learn more about rural Minnesota and the issues that are currently impacting those who live there, share what you have learned with your family, friends and networks. You can help share the story and influence others to get involved in building a stronger Minnesota.

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