Last October, I introduced my blog series Tomorrow’s Food – Today’s Policies . I write about new solutions for our challenging food system. So the topic of farmer suicide was never on my mind – but I can’t ignore this disturbing trend. A 2016 study by the CDC revealed some alarming news about the American farmer: Suicides are on the rise. In the agriculture sector (farmers, ranchers, farm workers) more farmers commit suicide than other groups.
About 1% of America’s population are farmers but the suicide rate is 90.5 per 100,000. What does it mean? It means that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher than the general population. Farming life has its unique challenges (financial) and health issues (physical, mental). What’s causing the rising suicide rate among farmers? How can we stop this trend? Is farmer suicide a global problem?