Kate Downes is the Outreach Director for NY FarmNet, a program based at Cornell University that provides free, confidential, on-farm guidance to any farmer in New York State. NY FarmNet works with farmers and their families in a holistic way to achieve both business and personal goals. In her role, she has become a leader on rural and farmer mental health. She works cooperatively to provide resources and support systems within New York agriculture by telling the story of rural New Yorkers and sharing their unique culture. Kate’s work is shaped by a passion for community and an agricultural connection spanning back to her childhood. She earned her Bachelor’s in Agricultural Business at the State University of New York, College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill. Through a series of left turns into journalism and public relations, Kate returned to university to earn her Master of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development at University College Dublin, Ireland. She has been trained in both Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid, as well as Michigan State University Extension’s Communicating with Farmers Under Stress and Weathering the Storm in Agriculture: How Farmers Can Cultivate a Productive Mindset. She is a LEAD NY Class 18 Fellow, and serves on the advisory board of NY Agriculture in the Classroom. Featured in the New York Times, Successful Farming, The Rural Monitor, Spectrum News, and many others, Kate shares her experiences in hopes of breaking down the behavioral health stigma and helping the agricultural community to thrive. She is the mother of two and the wife of one – and she balances it all by getting outdoors, crafting, adventuring, and trying to figure out what just came in her CSA box.