Placeholder Image photo credit: Ron Frazier/Wikimedia
Old Family Farm in Rossville, Illinois.

"Let 'em know that they're not alone," Lori Mercer said.

Mercer is a crisis hotline operator at Farm Aid.

"The realm that they're functioning in is, is very much dependent on factors that they just can't control, and that's, that's just a tough place to try to, to make a living when, when you put your seeds in the ground and cross your fingers," Mercer said.

Suicide is a major issue within the farming community across the US.

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control shows farmers are twice as likely to die by suicide than those in other industries.

Now Farm Aid has a dedicated Spanish language hotline.

"The Spanish hotline operates Mondays through Fridays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern time, so that would be 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM Pacific time," Mercer said.

Farm Aid is the nonprofit first organized as a benefit concert for family farmers during the farm crisis of the 1980s. It has been operating a crisis hotline in English since its founding.

Mercer said the new Spanish language line is part of a dedicated push within the farming community to address what she describes as historic “discrimination, marginalization, and denial-of-services” to farmers and agriculture workers of color.

"Many of the programs that are coming out, even government programs through USDA are aimed at supporting Latinx farmers and farm workers, and obviously one of the most elemental issues is being able to get that information in your language," Mercer said.

Mercer said farmers in need, for suicide crisis, or other farming crises like a dry well, can call 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243) for help in both English and Spanish or go online to for the farmer resource network at any time.

  • SoCo Calendar
  • Right Now
  • Weather
  • Earthquakes
  • First News
thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.

Subscribe to the Sonoma County First News podcast through our website, the NorCal Mobile App, NPR Podcasts, NPR One, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Read More

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.