Farm Bureau and Everglades Equipment Partner to Save Lives

May 2024

On Saturday, May 4, in a groundbreaking initiative, Sumter County Farm Bureau and Everglades Equipment Group partnered to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention in the agricultural community.

Through this alliance, every EVERGLADES John Deere CAB tractor sold throughout Florida will now feature a decal with the 988 suicide prevention and lifeline hotline. This initiative seeks to destigmatize conversations around mental health within the farming community and ensure that support is accessible.

“Farmers face everyday challenges that can take a toll on mental well-being,” said James Sutton, Sumter County Farm Bureau President. “Extreme weather events, financial uncertainty, unstable markets and labor shortages are just some of the stressors farmers and ranchers face. By incorporating mental health awareness into the everyday environment of farms, we hope to build a culture where everyone will recognize that it’s ok not to be ok and to ask for help.”

National studies show that the suicide rate for farmers and ranchers is 3.5 times higher than other professions. Promoting the well-being of farm and ranch families who grow the food, fiber and product for our nation is vital to creating a sustainable future for agriculture.

“We are honored to partner with the Farm Bureau to address mental health within the agricultural community,” said Tommie Peebles, III, Site Manager of Everglades Equipment Group in Leesburg, Fla. “By leveraging the visibility of John Deere tractors, we have an opportunity to reach farmers statewide and ensure they know where to turn for help. If we can save one person, it’s a success.”

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

In addition to the 988 decals, Farm Bureau has created a companion flyer that provides signs to look for when someone may be hurting and includes the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline call or text number and resources such as the AFBF Farm State of Mind Resource directory.