How Does Health Insurance Affect Farmers and Ranchers?

By Katlyn Morris, Research Associate in the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group at the University of Vermont

That's a question a team of researchers and extension specialists are asking farmers and ranchers in 10 states. Team members are seeking 120 farmers and ranchers to interview about the unique health insurance needs of farm families.

If you are a farmer or rancher in Washington, California, Utah, Nebraska, Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Vermont, or Massachusetts, you could participate in this paid research study and help shape rural health policy.

The project, Health Insurance, Rural Economic Development and Agriculture (HIREDnAg), is a collaboration between universities and organizations across the U.S., including the Center for Rural Affairs.

What to Expect: An initial phone interview and a follow-up interview will be scheduled at your convenience. They will last about 1-2 hours each. The first conversation will take place this spring.  

Interview Topics: You will be asked about your farm, your experiences with health care, and how health insurance influences your quality of life and farm business. All information will be kept confidential. Participants will be compensated $200 for their time (approx. 4 hours total).

Why Your Participation Matters: The information you share can help influence U.S. rural health policy.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Katlyn Morris, Project Coordinator, at, or 802.656.0257. You can learn more about the Health Insurance, Rural Economic Development and Agriculture project at

Feature image: Jim Knopik, a farmer and Center for Rural Affairs board member, hosts an agricultural tour with the help of his family. Health care has been one of his biggest concerns. Photo by Wyatt Fraas.