Dairy Farmer Suicides

Working in a declining industry, dairy farmers are facing more hardships than ever. As

prices of products like milk go down, the rate of suicide among dairy farmers begins to rise.

In 2017, nearly 900 dairy farmers in Wisconsin took their own lives. Dairy farming is the

only source of income for many men in Wisconsin, yet only 11 farms made $50,000 in 2017.

Two hundred and forty other farms made less than $100.

A big factor in this economic dilemma is the trade war between China and the United States. Americans are drinking less milk and consuming fewer dairy products as well. Dairy farmers receive little compensation for their work, as they overproduce milk and dairy products for little consumption.

Additionally, the male suicide rate is far higher than the female suicide rate. One

important risk factor of suicide for men is unemployment. Loss of jobs among dairy farmers can

increase their risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. Toxic masculinity discourages men

from expressing their emotions. Men refusing to disclose their emotions to friends, family, and

doctors cause their depression to go undiagnosed.

Hyper masculinity, exaggeration of male stereotypes, is a danger to our society. There is

no simple way to prevent suicide and depression; the first step society needs to take is fighting

back against gender roles and stereotypes for the safety of men.