Farmer Suicides Increase in Poor Economy

“Farmers have twice the national suicide rate compared with non-farmers”

Food Safety News
Jan. 31, 2010

by Norah Burton

During the Reagan era family farms experienced a rapid demise with many farmers turning to suicide as a result of lost profits.  There may once again be a muted epidemic of suicide occurring with the downfall of the economy.

The recent suicide of a New York State dairy farmer has drawn attention to the potential recurrence of this issue.  The farmer, who raised 100 head of cattle, killed his 51 dairy cows he milked twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, before killing himself.

Though Dean Pierson reportedly had ‘personal issues’ in recent months, his suicide raises multiple questions, including whether the farmer felt an elevated pressure to produce.  In early 2009, a Maine farmer hanged himself in his barn.  More recently, two Maine farmers–one an organic dairy farmer–committed suicide; both shot and killed themselves.

read full article

from the “we’re all in this together” file…

Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide and How Can We Stop This Tragedy?
by Vandana Shiva


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