NDSU Extension - Burke County


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Farming Is Stressful!

County Agent News
Dan Folske
May 13, 2018

Farming Is Stressful!

          Low prices, long hours, family disagreements, high debt loads, etc. farming can be very stressful. Farming is also dangerous. Farming ranks right with mining and the oilfield with high rates of fatalities and serious injuries.

          Where does that stress and danger lead? Unfortunately it often leads to suicide and possibly suicides disguised as farm accidents. According to the most recent data available from the CDC (Center For Disease Control) suicide rates in rural areas are nearly double that of urban areas (20 per 100,000 people in rural counties compared to 11.1 per 100,000 in urban areas). And if we compare the suicide rate for farmers to the national average for total US population (14 per 100,000 in 2017) the number is even worse. The most recent published statistics for farm related suicides is from 2012. That data lists a farm suicide rate of  84.5 per 100,00 for individuals with Agricultural occupations (Agricultural occupations include farming, ranching, fishing, and forestry).  That rate is over six times the national average and far above any other occupation.

          Some experts believe that the actual suicide rates in agriculture are higher than that be agricultural suicides are often disguised as accidents in these dangerous occupations.

          What can you do to cope with high stress levels or to help others?  You may want to watch a series of podcasts being published on the Red River Farm Network. This series of videos called TransFARMation has been put together with a grant from the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health.

The first episode,  titled TransFARMation: How Not to Let the Farm Wreck Your Marriage was published April 3rd, 2019. It can be found online at: https://www.rrfn.com/podcast_category/transfarmation/ 

            Each subsequent episode can also be found on this site including:


If you or someone you know needs more information about dealing with stress dial  211 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255

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