Ag department seeks applications for mental health grants

Applications will be accepted through Nov. 7 for grants supporting mental health services for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers in rural communities in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture will administer the grants using $200,000 appropriated during the last session of the Colorado Legislature.

“Organizations across Colorado are doing amazing work to destigmatize mental health and help our ag producers cope with everything from farm stress due to drought or rising costs to substance abuse,” said Kristen Boysen, drought and climate specialist and program manager for the mental health grants “Mental health is directly tied to the overall health of our rural and agricultural communities, and this funding will help bolster and expand this work to impact more Coloradans.” 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 32 percent of Coloradans reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder in 2021. According to Colorado Rural Health, rural youth in Colorado are twice as likely to die by suicide. 

Rural communities often experience the affects of mental health issues more acutely than urban and suburban communities because resources are more limited in those areas. 

The grant program is designed to increase awareness of mental and behavioral health services and resources in Colorado, provide or help facilitate mental and behavioral health services and continue efforts to destigmatize mental health issues. Grant applicants are asked to think creatively about ways to reach rural communities and expand information about and access to services. 

Grant requests should range between $25,000 and $100,000 and include plans to fully spend funding by the end of the state fiscal year on June 30, 2023. 

The mental health services is the second program of its type offered by the CDA. Since 2021, the state agency has managed a $500,000 grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

For more information about the mental health grants, send an email to Kristen Boysen at or visit the website at