This week's edition of Farmer Finishers really has something to do with farming.

I read a sad article last night about the suicide rates among farmers and ranchers. The rate is now higher than that of young males and veterans.

The question everyone is trying to figure out is why. Well, there are a lot of factors.

The fact that the financial burdens are now greater than ever doesn't help. So many of these farms have been in the family for generations and have survived depressions, droughts, and tough economics, and yet now are on the verge of collapse.

The fact that the average age of the American farmer is now 60 and no one to carry on or show interest in the operation all are contributing factors. It's a tough way of life in which you put your heart and soul into it with no way to pass your costs on like other businesses.

Credit: Paul Mushaben
Credit: Paul Mushaben

The pride thing also ways in with not being able to face failure and loss. The largest industry in America really gets little attention since there are less than a million of us left. The agriculture budget is only 3-tenths a percent of all federal spending. About 300 billion. Food stamps and nutrition programs are 700 billion.

Farming is a totally different animal than working for a business or company. you feel the effects of every decision personally and it's you and your family against the elements and the world who constantly take shots at your industry. With all of that, it's tough to stay positive and see the good things about our way of life. Farmers and ranchers are the eternal optimists but it's easy to see why so many just give up.

Have a great weekend and we'll see ya Monday at 5 a.m.

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