- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The dire economic straits in which many California dairy operators find themselves have prompted UC Cooperative Extension to collaborate with other agencies to provide a suicide prevention online seminar, according to an article in Dairy Herd Management.
The webinar, held this morning, covered farmer stress, depression and suicide prevention. According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times late last month, two dairy operators have recently committed suicide. Low milk prices that have dairy farmers selling cows for hamburger meat and threatening to dump milk into sewers may be partly to blame.
Current milk prices are about half of what it costs California producers to feed and milk their herds, the Times article said. Every gallon sold in the supermarket represents a loss on the farm. The pain is being felt throughout the U.S., but it's especially severe in California, where1,800 dairies produce $7 billion worth of milk annually, more than one-fifth of the nation's supply.
The Dairy Herd Management article ends with links to additional resources, including a story in the May issue of the magazine, Recognize the Signs of Stress and Depression and a link to its Crisis Management Resource Center.