The Vermont Agency of Agriculture prioritizes farmer health and safety. Farm First, a free and confidential business and personal service, automatically covers Vermont farm owners and family members living on the farm. Funded by the Vermont Agencies of Agriculture and Human Services, Farm First is a benefit modeled on the benefit many workplaces provide for their employees called an employee assistance program. Farm First's mission is to help ALL Vermont farmers address the challenges unique to making a living in agriculture.
- Vermont farm owner grossing a minimum of $10,000/year from agriculture
- OR farmer working with a disability or injury
- Farm-based family members of eligible farm owners
What is Farm First?
Farm first provides confidential help with any personal or work-related issue. We know that if left unaddressed, stress correlates with chronic health, safety, family and business problems. Consulting with a Farm First counselor or resource specialist, located statewide, can help you resolve problems before they mushroom into debilitating situations. Farm First is here to provide you, your family and your operation with the resources, professional and personal support to address a wide range of issues, including labor and management issues, financial concerns, alcohol or drug problems, injury, illness or adaptive equipment needs, legal issues, family stress, depression, and much more.
The Farm First website will direct you to the to the Invest EAP website. Invest EAP is the parent organization for Farm First. Invest EAP provides self-assessment tools and information on a variety of health, mental health, legal and financial topics. You will be asked to create a login when accessing the site for the first time. (Organization Password: farm)
Why Would I Call Farm First?
Farm First is set up to assist farmers to address stress, much of which is associated with the very real challenges on Vermont’s farms. Whether you have a farm personnel issue or a personal or family concern, Farm First is ready to help. Farmers call us about practical resource issues (eldercare, childcare, housing, medical, legal or financial concerns) and about relationship or family issues, grief and loss, alcohol or drug addiction, depression or anxiety, and management issues. Farm First also helps farmers adapt to injuries and health problems.
What Happens When I Call Farm First?
We consult with you and provide information, brief counseling and referral. We may get you involved with a Vocational Rehabilitation Farm First counselor and other resources to help you continue farming with an injury or disability or to help with respite labor while you’re laid up.
Help when you need it, where you need it! With a single phone call, you can reach Farm First’s fully licensed, agriculturally sensitive resource specialists and counselors. We will discuss with you, confidentially and at no cost, the best method to address and resolve your concerns.