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Old 01-30-2010, 12:30 PM
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I got some relatives that are in a tight spot...first off they are dairy farmers and as we all know that industry is not doing so well. They are losing money like every other dairy farmer...living on credit and borrowed time. Their dad is also dying...he beat cancer a few times but this time there is nothing anyone can do...it is a matter of time. This is certainly not the best times for them...and then this week news of that dairy farmer in NY who killed his 51 cows and then himself hit the news. Yep it was time to set aside bravado and have "the talk".

It wasn't easy, and I won't discuss what exactly was said, but at least they know friends and family care and are worried about their well being mentally speaking. Hey sometims we don't think right you know, and problems seems bigger then us.The key word is "seem" an we owe it to the people that feed this nation to ensure that they realize things will get better.

I think they are on solid ground, but the point of this post is for EVERY CITY DATA Forum Member to be vigilant right now. In the 1980's when corn farmers took it on the chin, 946 farmers committed suicide. This year alone 3 Maine dairy farmers have committed suicide and there are only 330 in the state. Nationally a farmer is 8 times more likely to commite suicide then the general population. That is scary stuff. It comes from isolation, hard work, chronic fatique and of course high stress...it really is not the picnics in the back forty with cows grazing merrily behind them that many people think farm life is. It is incredibly stressful.

So as you come into contact with farmers, maybe it is time to set aside the tough bravado talk, the talk about the weather and tractors and get down to the, "are you feeling okay" stuff. It is far better to have an awkward talk then it is to go to a funeral.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:17 AM
Location: Way up north :-)
3,031 posts, read 5,346,649 times
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BT, that has been a huge topic in Australia. The drought has driven so many people to the wall, and a nationwide campaign has been launched to encourage farmers to talk about their problems instead of the more traditional method of bottling it up. To lose a farm that's been in a family for generations is the pinnacle of shame for most farmers.

Farmers' suicide rates double national average: study - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

It amazes me that people still have such a rosy view of country life and farming. It's got to the point where it's a gamble deciding how best to use the land, and the cost is often the mental and physical health of the farmer/landowner, as well as severe financial hardship. This is really a time when the farming communities need to be communities and support each other.
Thanks for bringing this up!
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:39 PM
Location: Minneapolis, MN (North Minneapolis area)
2,032 posts, read 4,379,025 times
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:38 PM
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I now live in a ranching community, and I totally get where you are coming from with your post - it is good to see this mentioned, esp. your line about how sometimes people aren't thinking right and "the problems seem bigger than us." Out here, people are just not big talkers, esp. not when things get really rough.

And there is a ripple effect too - we picked up the last of our slaughtered beef yesterday. The slaughterhouse owner mentioned to dh that he had meat still in the freezer from previous slaughters that the owners aren't taking home, because they can't afford to pay for it now. From the time they had it brought in, to the time it was ready for pickup, things have fallen apart, and they aren't even returning calls because I imagine they don't know what to do or when things are going to improve. Things are bad when folks spend all the time and effort to raise meat to sell or eat, and then can't follow through on the last part of the process.

The owner is willing to do payments to help, or at least keep it there so as not to put these people in a worse position because he understands, but otoh, he needs that space back so that he can stay in business.

It feels like a lot of folk here may be one dryer belt away from disaster. On craigslist, I am seeing a lot of farming equipment for sale here, more than before. And farms/ranches, but no takers.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:25 PM
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Farms/farmland is still selling strong here in central Minnesota.

Bare farmland has been at $3,000 per acre but a redent sale had a guy selling a 60 acre parcel of farmland to a neighbor for $4000 per acre ( 60 acres)

Another recent sale was a parcel of land selling for $5,000 per acre bought by a businessman just cuz the fields borders his house.

Way too high !
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:16 AM
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While driving thru upstate NY and PA last week we noticed lots of property for sale. Seems inviting to get off the rat race of Long island and move to a more civilized community and more of a lifestyle
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