Minnesota farmers are in a crisis and it is time we, as a community, speak out to save them.

According to the Farm Crisis Center, “net farm income has dropped 50% from 2013-2016” and with recent struggles our farmers are facing, it is likely this number will continue to increase.

Minnesota farmers are facing a propane shortage which has caused someto halt all harvesting efforts. If they do obtain propane, the price they pay for it likely won’t even allow them to turn a profit. This is just one example on top of already poor prices across nearly all other areas of farming.

It is time we speak up and do something. These losses farmers are suffering are leading to a mental health crisis. In fact, according to the CDC, “suicides among farmers are 1.5 times higher than the national average and could be even higher because some farm suicides could be masked as farm-related accidents.”

A farmer losing his farm is not even comparable to a person losing their job in town. A farmer losing their farm is like losing a piece of themselves, a piece of their heritage and a piece of their future.

Reach out to Gov. Walz and ask that he follow through on the promise he made on Oct. 31 to help our farmers through these catastrophic conditions.

Thank a farmer. If you know a farmer who is struggling, remind them that this is not their fault and that suicide is not a way out.

Jennifer Apley, Lake City

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