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Songwriters Help Raise Over $3,000 For Mental Health In Agriculture

The Foothills Community gathered at the East Longview Hall this past weekend for a fun night of country music entertainment to bring awareness to mental health in agriculture.
 
On Friday, October 18, Alberta Singer and Songwriter, Blake Reid, kicked of the Three Chords and the Roots Tour in Longview along with artists Duane Steele, Mariel Buckley, Troy Kokol and Joni Delaurier to raise funds for the Do More Ag Foundation.
 
The Foundation has been a champion of farmers' mental health since it was launched in 2018, and works to provide people in rural communities with resources and support further research in this area.
 
A study commonly cited by the Do More Ag Foundation from the University of Guelph shows 35 per cent of farmers in Canada meet the criteria for depression, 45 per cent reported high stress and 58 per cent struggle with anxiety.
 
The event was hosted by the Longview 4-H Beef Club, and an organizer says about 140 tickets were sold, raising over $3,100.
 
When choosing to raise funds for this initiative, Blake Reid, says there's a lot of pressure on farmers from the weather, to markets and finances.
 
He says with life getting so fast, it's leaving people with less time for support.
 
"There's a need right now just to check in with our farmers and just say, 'Hey, we're with you during your harvest'. And if there is some people that are feeling some pressures, and anxiety and depression, that there are resources available."
 
Reid was raised on the family farm near Cremona, and says he draws a lot of ideas for his songs from those experiences.
 
"When you come from 117 years of farmers, there's a lot of stories with the family, and so it's nice to share that with a crowd that understands it too."
 
This weekend, the tour also made a stop in Cremona on Saturday, October 19.
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