WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) – American farmers and ranchers are hurting.
Bad weather, on top of the president’s multi-front trade war has left many farmers struggling to make ends meet.
The National Farmers Union says financial problems on the farm often lead to mental health concerns.
That’s why they’ve started a Mental Health Crisis Center for farmers to seek help.
With crop prices falling, tariffs rising, and weather-related disasters, Jordan Treakle with the National Family Farm Coalition says American farmers are under tremendous pressure.
“After 4 or 5 years of this, you can imagine the level of stress is significant.”
Treakle says right now, the average family farmer can’t make ends meet.
“And suddenly despite how much you are able to work and put all your effort into that production, you’re not able to buy your groceries, you’re having to choose between your medicine and school fees.”
Matt Purdue with the National Farmers Union says the CDC found farmers have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession.
“Financial stress is often times leading to mental stress.”
The need is so great that calls to farm aid’s hotline more than doubled last year.
“To get the help they need when they are experiencing significant mental stress.”
Purdue says frequent loneliness of farm work magnifies the problem.
“A lot of farmers are more geographically isolated than folks in other industries. It’s just an incredibly stressful occupation from day to day.”
Purdue says the new Farm Crisis Center is a resource for farmers to apply for grants or connect with local support groups.
They want farmers to know that even in these tough times, they’re not alone.
(This story was originally published on August 29, 2019)