It’s no secret that mid-west farmers feed America. They feed plenty of people abroad too. We see them in the fields already as many of us are stuck in traffic on the drive into work. Some of us will take a moment and comment on our gratitude to them this Thanksgiving. Many of us are related to one of these hard-working, salt of the earth people. But when was the last time anyone checked in on them?
In the last 20 years, the amount of debt it takes to farm has continued to climb. Weather patterns have become increasingly unpredictable, and fewer children have elected to stay on the family land and take over what is oftentimes their parent’s life work. For many people, this would feel like a lot, and to too many American farmers it can feel like there is no hope, no help, and only one way out.
Farmers do not keep standard business hours and much of their day is spent isolated. That can make it hard to find anyone to talk to and difficult to know how to connect in what little time they may have with friends and family. Many of them do not want to be a burden, have always seen themselves as a rock for others, and have spent so many years trying to “pull myself up by my bootstraps” or “cowboy up” that they’ve simply forgotten there can be another way. Everyone has feelings and everyone could use a friend.
September is Suicide Awareness Month. Don’t let it go by without checking in on a farmer in your area. Whether you have seen them every week and generally chat with them or know their last name and what truck they drive but not much else – every day is the day to ask, “Are you okay?”Leave a reply →