The suicide rate is 45% higher in rural America than it is in urban areas, and in recognition of that fact, Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jon Tester of Montana — both farmers themselves — have introduced a bill aimed at cutting down on rural suicide. It’s part of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate and currently awaiting signing into law. The bill would establish USDA training programs for FSA, RMA and NRCS employees, create a partnership between USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services to deliver public awareness programs to increase public awareness of stress on the farm and ranch, as well as destigmatize mental health care service in rural communities. Finally, the bill directs the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to work with state and local officials to develop best practices for responding to mental stress among farmers and ranchers. See more about the bill.