Responding to signs of rising despair in rural America over a farming downturn exacerbated by the current trade war fears, agricultural leaders are mobilizing to try to prevent another suicide crisis.
Two high profile deaths in the past week, of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade, have shined a spotlight on the issue of depression and suicide in the United States, where the latest data show rates are rising, especially in rural states.
Farm industry officials are bolstering outreach and counseling programs throughout the American farm belt and calling for more action from Washington.
“Things are tough in the countryside,” said John Sorbello, a vegetable and nursery farmer in upstate New York and a director of the state’s farm bureau, an affiliate of the nation’s biggest farm group.
Dairy farmers are facing especially tough times, he said.
“There’s nothing to do over the pricing of milk, they are worried about…