farm family 080420SPRINGFIELD - Farmers and their families have the opportunity to complete a survey aimed to improve a wide range of services that will be available to them from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Farm Family Resource Initiative program in the coming months.

Manar, who chairs the Illinois Senate Appropriations II Committee, worked closely with fellow Downstate Democrats to include funding in this year’s state budget to address many of today’s challenges facing Illinois farmers.

“Farmers and farm families are the lifeblood of our state’s economy, and they face unique challenges,” State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “By prioritizing programs like the Farm Family Resource Initiative through a trusted partner like Southern Illinois University, we have the ability to reach out with support during this immensely difficult period.”

The goal of the survey is to improve the resources that will be available from the start of this program and to develop additional resources to best serve Illinois farmers. Once launched, the FFRI hotline will serve as a hub where callers can seek assistance with issues ranging from financial troubles to mental health concerns.

Manar is encouraging area farm families to access the survey online. 

“Completing this survey gives the people who are implementing this program a clearer picture of what they ought to be working to deliver,” Manar said. “Farm families’ direct input is invaluable.”

SIU School of Medicine is specifically looking for farmers and members of farm families in Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Morgan, and Sangamon Counties to complete the survey at