Updated: Nov 21
November 4, 2023 - Baraboo, WI - Farmers are the backbone of our communities, working tirelessly to provide the food that sustains us. Yet, behind the scenes, there's a silent struggle that often goes unnoticed – the mental health challenges faced by those in rural areas.
The film festival, organized by Conserve Sauk, brought this issue into the spotlight, featuring a powerful PBS Earth Focus documentary titled "For the Love of the Land," highlighting the Farmer Angel Network (FAN). This event was free and open to the public, inviting everyone to join the conversation about rural mental health.
The Farmer Angel Network, a group of dedicated individuals committed to supporting farmers, took center stage in the PBS documentary. Brenda Statz and Amanda Coorough, board members of FAN, were even available after the screening for a discussion. One audience member expressed gratitude, saying, "Thank you for doing this work. I don't know much about rural communities, so this was very powerful."
The documentary delves into the historically taboo topic of mental health in rural communities. With climate change placing additional stress on farmers, homesteaders, and herders, the film shares personal stories of struggle, resilience, and hope. It breaks down the stigma surrounding mental health, encouraging open conversations that are crucial for fostering supportive communities.
Over 80 people attended the film festival, with a dozen specifically drawn to the screening of "For the Love of the Land." During breaks and lunch, FAN's Dorothy Harms and Sandy Kratz were present, providing valuable resources and materials.
Farmer Angel Network was happy to sponsor the event inspiring us to take action in making our homes, backyards, and communities a better place to live. Let's continue the conversation, break the silence, and support those who work tirelessly to feed our communities.
Photo Credits to Conserve Sauk Film Festival