Our Working Partners

North Carolina State University

Dr. Andrew R. Smolski 

Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences 

Applied Research Director, Southern Ag Exchange Network (SAgE) 

Dr. Andrew Smolski
Michael Schulman

Dr. Michael D. Schulman 

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences 

Dr. Smolski and Dr. Schulman at North Carolina State University are continuing to analyze data collected from interviews with 15 White and 15 Black farmer informants from N.C., S.C., and VA. and from 2 focus groups conducted with a subset of the informants.  This work is part of a community-engaged collaborative project involving the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, the Rural Advancement Foundation International, USA., and other non-profit organizations.  A technical report detailing farmers’ perception of resources and information for navigating economic hardship and stress is in the final stages of preparation. One of the recommendations from this work is that university, community, and faith-based groups attempt to develop networks in order to provide a comprehensive, teams-based approach to expanding financial and mental health services for farmers in culturally relevant ways. They are developing a manuscript on how Black farmers frame racism and discrimination as traumatic and develop livelihood strategies reliant on racial solidarity and cooperation. Also, they are investigating the narratives that the farmer informants use to describe their pathways in and out of financial and mental health crises. Following evidence from this project, they are interested in expanding their work on farm stress to center the role of community-based organizations, farmer-to-farmer networks, and cooperatives as organizational bases for social support and livelihood strategies. 

University of Florida


Kendra Hughson, MA
Interim State Program Leader & Regional Specialized Agent, UF|IFAS Extension-Family and Consumer Sciences

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Dr. Christa Court
Assistant Professor, UF|IFAS Food and Resource Economics

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Dr. Marcia E. Brown
SAgE Project Manager, UF|IFAS Extension- Northwest District

The UF team handles research efforts dealing with the perceptions of farm-related stress including mental health, access barriers to farmers, and financial stressors. We strive to build capacity for mental wellness training in rural and agricultural communities. We are evaluating the impact of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Suicide Prevention Training among our audiences. Additionally, Dr. Christa Court provides expertise on regional and agricultural economics (e.g., information and insights on relevant, publicly available agricultural data for research efforts, including information on the economic importance of agriculture to county and state economies) and insights into natural disasters as a stressor for farmers and ranchers. 

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Funding Acknowledgements: USDA-NIFA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Award # 2020-70028-32730

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Farmer Groups* 

Research Teams*

Trainings & Education*

*Pages coming soon