Vermonters helping Vermonters is a tradition as old as our state. We're starting a network of farmers throughout the state, including your neighbors, who want to support each other in different ways. We invite you to join us.
Here's our vision: We will assemble a group of farmers and ag service providers who want to offer support to farmers experiencing stress. We will offer to train you in the basics of (1) core resources available to help farmers in VT and (2) how to offer nonjudgmental active listening that helps others feel heard and reduces their stress.
Farmers seeking to connect with other farmers will then be able to reach out to trained peers. You are primarily offering to help simply talk with a fellow farmer so that they feel some support and do not feel isolated with their problem. A few of you may be more comfortable simply offering some needed labor to help someone avert a crisis. It's your choice. You aren't committing to anything up front, and you can always connect a fellow farmer to one of our Farm First staff. Oftentimes farmers simply want to have a conversation with a fellow farmer about their situation.
Our peer support program will be developed based on the input we get from farmers about what work well. Contact us if you're interested in sharing or learning more.