Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

The Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund

  • Project Title: Save a Shore Farmer
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Ron Pilling, Secretary and Treasurer of the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund
  • Location: Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland
  • Program Overview: The Save a Shore Farmer Campaign launched in 2018 as a project of The Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund. The project began as a response to high rates of suicide for farmers and farm workers both nationally, as reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, and locally, as identified in conversations with farmers in the lower Eastern Shore area. The campaign's goal is to teach suicide prevention for farmers and their families and provide resources grounded in farming culture, which recognizes reluctance among farmers to seek help. Campaign materials for farmers include billboards, public service announcements on television, and printed materials for conferences and other events. Rather than using traditional approaches such as trainings and provision of resources in community settings, Save a Shore Farmer founders decided to reach people where they are — driving down a highway or watching television, for example — to avoid stigma and increase anonymity. The campaign also acknowledged the large role families play in recognizing the warning signs of suicide and developed messages for families on how to spot warning signs of suicide in a loved one and how to respond.

    The campaign started with a grant from the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) and received additional funding from the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund. The program relies on volunteers, many of whom have been personally impacted by suicide. The Save a Shore Farmer Campaign has received positive responses and continues to raise awareness and spark conversations among farmers and their families.

Models represented by this program: