Farmers already felt isolated. The COVID-19 pandemic made it worse.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated farmers’ feelings of isolation, according to a recent survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The percentage who said social isolation affects farmers’ mental health jumped more than 20% in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Ag Blazin’ Five for 2021 (and beyond)'s once again time for your audacious commentator to give his hot takes on the agriculture stories that will make news in 2021. This year I've enlisted the help of Homer Simpson who truly knows something about predicting agricultural events before they happened (witness the Simpson take on a horsemeat scandal and the invention of the “tomacco plant”).

#AgAlerts: AI; milk monopoly; farm bankruptcies

Not good news for the dairy farmers. After Dean announced it had filed for bankruptcy, Dairy Farmers of America said it was in “advanced discussions” on an acquisition. A merger would all but guarantee lower income for farmers.

Panic State: Mental Health Funding Dropping

Scrutiny of the nation's mental health system has followed the January shooting rampage that seriously injured U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and killed six others. Click on the logos to the left to read stories published Wednesday that feature contributions from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Also, find out why Kansas is in poor company in a new report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI_report