Extension and Outreach offers resources for farm families

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Muscatine County

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Muscatine County farm families can now access pre-paid, ongoing wellness coaching and counseling services. Families can get confidential support for a variety of life events via phone, text, live chat, video, or app, in addition to existing sources of 24/7 help.

ISU Extension and Outreach and the Farm Foundation have provided new free coaching and counseling services to benefit Muscatine County farm families.

Personal Assistance Services (PAS), which delivers its wide range of services directly to Iowa farm families, will provide the coaching and counseling services. The Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, obtained funding to create a program that will provide access to contracted, top-quality tele-video and telephonic counseling and other resources to farm families free of charge. In partnership with the Farm Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will raise awareness about the new services, which complement those already available to Iowa farm families. The resulting Iowa Farm Family Wellness Alliance hopes to grow its impact over time, bringing important wellness resources to even more families across Iowa and beyond.

“Farm families face extraordinary challenges. As rural entrepreneurs, they don’t always have easy access to the resources they might need,” said Shari Rogge-Fidler, Farm Foundation President and CEO. “We are pleased to bring a coalition of partners together to provide direct help, and to be working with ISU Extension and Outreach to get the word out to Iowa farm families that these valuable, pre-paid services are available to them.”

Through one-on-one intervention, PAS professionals can help all generations of farm families with a wide variety of life challenges, including: health and nutrition; tobacco cessation; organization and time management; career and retirement planning; child care and elder care; anxiety, depression, stress, addictions, substance use, and more. The new services complement those already available through the Iowa Concern resource, which Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has offered since 1985.

“For 35 years, Iowans across the state have depended on Iowa Concern for free education, referrals, and other support from ISU Extension and Outreach professionals to handle questions relating to stress, financial concerns, legal rights, and disaster recovery,” said John Lawrence, vice president for Extension and Outreach. “We are excited that now many farm families have access to additional support in the form of ongoing counseling and coaching.”

Iowa Concern continues to offer services to all Iowans by calling 1-800-447-1985. Families wishing to take advantage of the newly available pre-paid, ongoing coaching and counseling services through PAS can get started by calling 1-833-999-FARM (3276).