When I first heard about the Do More Agriculture Foundation (Do More Ag), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the stigma of mental health issues, I was immediately energized – this was an initiative I wanted to support.

Mental health is a topic that hits close to home for me, and I am inspired when people share their personal journeys and open their hearts and minds to a topic that was once taboo.

It’s a critical and necessary shift in our industry and society, and I am personally committed to taking part in the discussion. Further, it’s a conversation that we at CAAR want to support and help raise awareness about mental health.

In this issue, we share the story of Do More Ag in the hopes of generating more awareness and support for the foundation amongst ag retailers. You can read our interview with one of the founders, Lesley Kelly, and Mike May of South Country Co-op, a retailer who has gotten behind the program, here.

Their insight into why these conversations matter is uplifting and will inspire you and your team to make mental health conversations a priority within your organization. Do More Ag’s call to action is simple and effective as it encourages each of us to engage through the power of conversation.

To that end, the CAAR team is working with the conference committee to plan the agenda for the 2019 CAAR Conference and is currently reviewing options to help incorporate the mental health conversation at this year’s event.

Every year, the CAAR Conference focuses on strengthening the business of ag retail, and we recognize that having a workforce that is both physically and mentally healthy is a key part of any retailer’s strength. We hope the CAAR Conference can provide an opportunity to promote awareness on this issue and encourage retailers to support the mental health of both their team and customers.

As we go to press on this issue, the sun is shining and I know my social media feed is vibrant with photos of friends, family and colleagues sharing their summer fun. For many, summer is the time of year for family vacations, well deserved relaxation and general happiness.

For others, it may not be so picture perfect.

For anyone who is struggling, please remember that you do not have to suffer alone. For a list of mental health resources I encourage you to visit www.domore.ag/resources.

Best wishes,

Lynda Nicol
Editor-in-Chief

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