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Doing more for agriculture: not-for-profit aims to make mental health a priority

Doing more for agriculture: not-for-profit aims to make mental health a priority

New foundation wants the industry to talk, listen and ask more


By Kaitlynn Anderson

Staff Reporter


Members of Canada’s agricultural industry now have access to a new mental health resource.

The Do More Ag Foundation, set to launch on Jan. 30 at the Farm Tech conference, focuses on providing farmers with support and creating awareness about mental health issues in the industry.

The initiative began when Kim Keller, one of the four founders of the not-for-profit organization, received a call last summer from an individual who lost a farming client to suicide.

“There was nothing I could really give (the individual) to help him in that situation,” Keller told yesterday. “So, the next morning I sent out a call to action to agriculture to do more.”

Not long after Keller spoke up, Lesley Kelly — another founder of the not-for-profit organization — and her husband Matt “shared a Periscope over Twitter about their mental health journey on the farm,” Keller said.

As the discussion about mental health in agriculture continued, Keller realized that the industry needed an organization to focus on this issue.

So the idea of the Do More Ag Foundation was born.

And members of the industry, including farmers and businesses, have a couple ways to get involved.

First, the agricultural community can “continue to keep the conversation going and make mental health a priority discussion,” Keller said.

In addition, individuals and organizations can donate their time or money to the foundation. Businesses can also partner with the not-for-profit.

“They can send us a message through our website and we will be more than happy to talk with them,” she said.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the foundation, donating to the cause, or becoming a partner can visit