Linking Farm Vitality and Health Project

"Linking Delaware farmers to health care options will help farm operators reduce business risks in one of the most dangerous jobs there is," said Maria Pippidis, New Castle County director and Cooperative Extension educator.


A 2017 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study highlighted many alarming figures affecting the health and wellbeing of the farming population, including:

  • 45 percent were concerned that they would have to sell some or all their farm to address health-related costs

  • 64 percent reported having pre-existing health conditions and were not confident they could pay the costs of a major illness or injury

  • 72 percent carried secondary off-farm jobs for health insurance and financial stability

Additionally, increased use of opioids to handle pain and an uptick in suicides among farming families and supporting professions, such as veterinarians, raise significant concern.

"Focusing on the health and overall wellbeing of our farming community is a critical and timely dimension of the broader efforts in Delaware to drive comprehensive, systemic health care transformation to achieve better care, healthier populations, lower cost and spending, and a better provider and patient experience," said CANR Dean Brian Farkus. "Delaware's agricultural community is a unique and vital part of the state's economy."