The threat against USDA by a farmer this week demonstrates the depth of frustration being felt by many producers. However, drawing on the heritage of the past may help some deal with the uncertainty of the future
There are many family farming operation in the state that have been in business longer than Indiana has been a state. ISDA director Bruce Kettler says drawing on that heritage should give farmers some hope for the future, “I think it is healthy for our farmers to think back to the heritage and history of agriculture and know that many of their forefathers had similar situations and were able to work through them and stay positive.”
Lt. Governor Susanne Crouch says state government understands what farmers are dealing with and is ready to help when it can, “Governor Holcomb and I will walk along with them through these difficult times. Along with the State Department of Agriculture, we will provide whatever assistance we can.”
During the Hoosier Homestead Awards at the Indiana State Fair, Crouch said that history has shown us Indiana farmers are no strangers to hard times. “They know these tough times are just one of the times their ancestors have gone through, and they have survived for 150 and 200 years,” she stated. “We will get through this, and these awards provide hope that we will get through this.”
Kettler added that coming together to face the challenges will provide hope for the next generation of farmers. “This sets the example for these young people,” he said. “It shows them that there will be hard times; but, if we come together as a family, the farm can continue.”
Early next month the AgriInstitute will host a seminar on helping farmers and rural communities deal with stress as well as emotional and mental issues.