Dairy farmers all across the United States have been committing suicide at an alarming rate because their respective industry can no longer support them in the same way that it has for generations. For the fourth year in a row, diminishing milk prices has brought about dark times for this major farming sector.
Sadly, these doomsday conditions have forced many of those associated with the trade to take drastic measures. Some have sold their family farms just to dig themselves out of debt. Others, feeling as though there is nowhere left to turn, have opted to take their own lives.
In northeastern states, like Massachusetts, the self-inflicted trapdoor out of the poor house is the most devilish. Agri-Mark Inc., a dairy cooperative consisting of around 1,000 members, buried three of its own over the past few years, according to a report from NPR.
This year is no exception.
The risk of dairy farmer suicides has become so severe in recent months that the co-op actually included a list of suicide prevention contacts with its 2018 milk price predictions. The overall message is the situation for dairy farmers is not about to improve anytime soon.
“Farm families are incredibly resilient, but some members may want to take advantage of helpful programs where they can talk with experts about work and financial stress, depression and anxiety, grief counseling, substance abuse and family relationship issues,” the letter from Agri-Mark reads.
It is sad to watch a classic industry drive hard working Americans into early graves. Not only that, but it is completely unnecessary. There is a wealth of opportunity opening up in the cannabis industry that could provide this farming sector with a second chance for survival.
Some of the latest statistics from New Frontier shows the business of growing and selling marijuana is on the path to becoming a $24 billion industry by 2025. A significant portion of these earnings will be generated through the sale of edible marijuana products.