Approximately one in four farmers struggle with mental health issues. NCGA asks farmers, their families, and the people they do business with to look for signs. NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team (MCEAT) distributed a short, one-minute video asking our industry partners to assist in this effort. Working with allies in the lending communities, retailer networks, grain elevator operators, and others, we are distributing this video widely throughout our networks and helping raise awareness.
“The Membership and Consumer Engagement Action Team has a real passion for this topic,” said Dan Nerud, vice chair of MCEAT and a farmer from Nebraska. “We wanted to do something in this space that would have a real impact. A lot of organizations have done great work on creating resources. We decided that continuing to raise awareness amongst our closest industry partners, those who we see and interact with almost daily, had the potential to bring something unique to the conversation and could yield material results.”
The video was released during Mental Health Awareness Month to amplify NCGA’s outreach to farmers on this critical issue.
“Mental Health Awareness Month is an important opportunity to help us normalize this topic,” said Lowell Neitzel, chairman of MCEAT and Kansas farmer. “Many farmers tend to be stoic by nature. But it’s important for us to realize that we don’t face these challenges alone, and it helps to talk about them.”
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate amongst the agriculture industry is nearly ten points above the national average. We urge all of our industry partners to help us lookout for signs. Saying something could mean everything.