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Advocates aim to decline the number of suicide among farmers

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-09 19:48:07-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — According to the National Rural Health Association, the suicide rate among farmers is 3.5 times more than the general population.

That includes anyone who works in agriculture. 

Tara Haskins, the Health Director at Agri Safe Network said it’s a challenging time for everyone. 

“Our producers are struggling financially in order to get that crop in, make ends meet and meet all their financial obligations,” said Haskins.  

Agri Safe Network, aims to reduce health disparities found among the agricultural community. They’re aware of all the factors that contribute to suicide among this group. 

“I can think of mental and physical well-being and there are a lot of factors,” said Haskins. “There are family and relationships that exist within agriculture.” 

Scott Frazier, the Owner of Thunder Cattle Company has felt the pressure lately. 

“All of our input costs are significantly higher than they were a few years ago,” said Frazier.

Frazier comes from a family of farmers. He’s had his business for 25 years. During that time, he’s learned to plan ahead and to be flexible. 

“The biggest weakness we have on the farm is how very little control we have over the sale of our product as far as what we get for it,” said Frazier.

Frazier tells us the majority of farmers in the Coastal Bend are multi-generational with 5,000 to 20,000 acres of land. Another reason to worry. 

“Think about this,” said Haskins. “If you were holding a legacy that has been in your family for hundreds of years and you were faced with the possibility that might end with you. Think of how distressing that would be.”

While Frazier is the first in his family. He is thinking about the future.

Agri Safe Network has now brought an agri stress helpline to Texas. They offer direction, emotional support, and  additional resources.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call or text 833-897-2474