Agricultural Community Well Being
October 23, 2019 | View PDF
This article is going to take a bit of a more serious tone than I usually write about but there is something that I’ve been thinking about focusing on for some time and this year it seems as though the time is right.
It is a fairly well known fact (at least I guess it’s a fact but I’m not sure that there are actually studies that can prove it) that farmers and ranchers are a resilient bunch. By the nature of the job, one has to be in order to survive. A farmer and/or rancher wakes up every morning and generally speaking, the first thought he or she thinks about is what the weather is doing outside and how much work is going to be done or not done depending on what the forecast is. There are so many factors that are outside of this person’s control but yet he or she somehow still finds the strength and wherewithal to continue to live a life and remain in a profession that brings him or her joy and a standard of life that he or she aspires to create.
In case you are not aware, there is almost this perfect storm (I really think it should be called imperfect actually) of issues that are causing some real concern for our farmers and ranchers. Commodity prices for just about every crop that we grow are not the greatest, input prices are not necessarily following that same trend, and the weather has not been favorable to do much of anything except take naps and watch football.
The reason that I am bringing all of this up is because even though we all know how resilient our agricultural producers can be, there are some things they may not be able to overcome. I will not bore you with statistics but suffice to say that mental health issues for agricultural producers are a rising concern and often go overlooked and/or unnoticed. But when a person’s livelihood is being threatened and/or attacked from several different levels it is difficult to remain optimistic.
My reason for pointing this out is two-fold. First off, to our producers I want you to know that I and several others in this community are here for you and feel for you. I know that things are tough right now and the future does not look a whole lot brighter but you do have the respect and admiration of several people and we will do all that we can to help you succeed. Secondly, to the general public, you can help ease some of the struggles that our producers are facing. The first step to help is simply being nice and polite. As the weather is now cooperating and harvest is in full swing again if you just have patience and be courteous that will go a long way. In addition, reaching out to a farmer/rancher that you know and just letting them know that you respect them and appreciate their struggles would be a nice gesture. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to not bring up the fact that there are still lots of acres of crops still needing to be harvested. They pretty much know that.
In all seriousness, I am concerned about the well being of our agricultural community and if there is anything that I can do to help contribute to that, I am happy to do so. Thank you for all that you do and you are always welcome to contact me at 433-1206 or by email at [email protected]