The Commodity Classic launched their special virtual show this week, and one of the highlights was a partnership with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. The groups launched a podcast addressing farm stress and mental health for the 21st century farmer. Dave Buchholz, with the Commodity Classic, says there’s a lot of alone time when farming.
“There’s a lot of sitting in a tractor cab, sitting in a pickup, working with animals, whatever it might be and your mind can really start to work for you or against you in that case, and if you’re in that tractor cab and you let your mind go, you can go to a very dark place sometimes and I think that’s when people need to understand ‘I need to start talking to somebody’.”
Buchholz acknowledged the pandemic has made a difficult situation worse, between isolation, market disruption and an uncertain future. He said while it’s not easy, having an open and frank conversation about stress and struggles is important.
“It’s important that we talk about this in terms of mental health and not mental illness. It’s not mental illness, it’s about wanting to be healthy. Everybody, even the healthiest person wants to be healthy.”
According to a recent CDC report, farming has the highest per capita suicide rates of U.S. occupations, increasing by 40% in the past two decades.
Click Here to listen to “Mental Health on the Farm”.
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