QUAD CITIES (KWQC) – Concerns over the mental health of local dairy farmers are taking center stage in the agricultural world.
As the dairy supply increases, the demand decreases which results in lower bi-monthly payouts for dairy farmers. On recent milk checks, some dairy farmers also received the suicide hotline number. John Maxwell of Cinnamon Ridge Dairy says during times like this, farmers can experience low self-esteem and low value of their work, resulting in mental health issues.
“The dairymen, they start to have low value, low self-esteem, they start to think about different occupations, maybe suicide, so there’s a lot of mental health things going on.”
DeAnne Bloomberg at the Rock Island County Farm Bureau says its important farmers know they are not alone.
“You want to keep your ears open, keep the lines of communication going, and then most of all I think we’re so fortunate to have is our rural country churches…things can turn around, you want to show them hope, that’s my biggest comment to them, they’re not alone, we all face a lot of struggles, but something, for a farm family it’s deeper because it’s multi-generational.”
If you are a dairy farmer experiencing hardships, there are places you can reach out to.
Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-TALK / (800) 273-8255
On the side of this page, there are also links you can click on to get help.
By: Jenna Jackson