With calving season well underway and seeding on the horizon, I wanted to take a moment to share my appreciation for all of the farmers and ranchers in Battle River-Crowfoot who are hard at work feeding our province, country, and the world. It’s not an easy industry to be in with long hours, inclement weather, massive increases in costs, supply chain problems, political issues like Government taxes and mandates, the rural-urban divide, having to be price takers on both inputs and products sold, and etcetara.
As the 5th generation to be involved in our family farm in the Special Areas, I know there is no better way of life than life on the farm or ranch. But that doesn’t make it easy, and in the midst of all the good are many challenges; ones that can have a real impact on mental health.
We are seeing mental health and well-being becoming a bigger priority in both the home and the workplace. Unfortunately, due to the busy seasons in agriculture that demand long hours without a break, farmers, ranchers, and their families are continuing to fall through the cracks.
As we thank those involved in the agriculture sector, I want to affirm that there are supports available for those who find themselves struggling. Please reach out, whether this is you, a loved one, or a neighbour. The stigma around mental health can change, but we need to do it together.
A few available supports include:
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1.833.456.4566
Alberta Mental Health Hotline: 1.877.303.2642
If you or someone you know is under duress, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You could save someone’s life.
Canada’s Conservatives understand how mental health issues have impacted Canadians. My colleague, Todd Doherty, MP for Prince George-Cariboo, passed a motion calling for a consolidated national suicide hotline. The implementation of this helpline would make it easier for those who are struggling to get help. This is an initiative that has received a lot of support from municipalities across Battle River-Crowfoot.
My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to go to bat for our agriculture industry, including working to address the many challenges faced by farmers and ranchers. Again, I would like to thank all farmers and ranchers who ensure that Canada and the world are well-fed with ethically sourced and nutritious food. Your contributions are deeply appreciated.
It is an honour to serve as the Member of Parliament for Battle River—Crowfoot, a region where agriculture thrives. I would like to extend my best wishes to our agriculture industry as we approach the calving and seeding season.