The Pecatonica FFA Chapter gathered on May 22 to make baskets for the community to promote mental health in agriculture. From left: Zach Carlson, Vanessa Wishard, Keagen Gilson, Morgan Sommerio, Emma Daly, Mylie Getter, Grant Hagemeier, Ellie Bolen, Evie Anderson and Josh Hagemeier.

    On May 22, the Pecatonica FFA Chapter worked to put together baskets filled with all of a farmer’s favorite things to promote mental health in the Agriculture Industry.

    Back in February, the chapter was awarded the “Bend Don’t Break” grant through The Illinois Foundation FFA, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Farm Family Resource Initiative SIU School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development, which would allow the FFA Chapter to come up with a way to spend $1,000 to promote taking care of your mental health, specifically in agriculture.

    Within the baskets, the chapter included snacks, drinks, a mental health in agriculture sticker designed by one of the chapter’s own FFA members, and two wristbands stating “Agriculture needs you” and “#BendDon’tBreak”. They also included a card that explained the goal of the “Bend Don’t Break” grant project and a hotline to call if they ever need someone to talk to.

    After assembling the baskets, they were able to hand deliver 48 baskets to local farmers in our community.

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