WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $480,000 to fund a project to give farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses the tools they need to deal with economic and emotional stress brought on by the difficult farm economy.

The funding will allow the University of Minnesota Extension and seven other extension services in the Upper Midwest to develop online resources people can turn to for help. It also will help expand programs including stress assistance classes, a stress assistance hotline and prescription drug abuse education.

Right now, Minnesota ag is facing significant challenges. The median net farm income was $26,055 in 2018, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. That's the lowest since the school started collecting data. Trade uncertainties and other factors continue to hurt markets and bottom lines.

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