While running their last venture, Farm At Hand, Kim Keller and business partner Himanshu Singh started a mental health initiative called “Here for Farmers,” a t-shirt fundraising campaign focused on supporting mental wellness in the agriculture community.
Outside of the campaign, however, the calls kept coming in, asking for help finding mental health resources in rural areas. Keller called Singh and asked, “Could we be doing more?”
Around the same time, Keller saw a heartfelt video on Twitter, talking about struggles with mental health in rural Saskatchewan. Featured in the video, was Lesley Kelly and her husband. Keller watched as the video went viral and felt the push ever-stronger to do something in this under-served area of rural health care.
Fast forward to this last January, when Keller, Singh, Kelly, and a fourth partner, Kirk Muyres, officially launched the Do More Ag Foundation at FarmTech ’18.
At the conference, Debra Murphy sat down with Keller to talk about the mental health and illness struggles unique to farming and rural areas, the foundation’s goals, and the next steps in what the foundation will do.
Since this was recorded in late January, Keller adds that more industry partners have committed to supporting the foundation, and community mental health service providers from across Canada have been in contact to service the ag community with programming. Last week, the foundation also announced a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture to work together to fund research around mental health resources in Canada and on establishing recognition for a farmer or community who is/are making mental health a priority.
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