Northern Ag Network
Northern Ag Network
Northern Broadcasting System    Northern News Network    Northern Sports Network
Search This Site...
Search This Site...
MT Farm Organizations Address Rural Opioid Epidemic

MT Farm Organizations Address Rural Opioid Epidemic

2/27/2018 5:00:00 AM/Categories: Popular Posts, General News, Original, Today's Top 5, Livestock, Grains

Opioid addiction along with its consequences is a silent but very real crisis and farm country has been hit hard.

“Farmers and ranchers are in an industry where you get a lot of injuries," John Youngberg, executive vice president of Montana Farm Bureau Federation said. "You get little nicks, scrapes, and sprains and every time you go to the doctor you can get a prescription for something."

As farming communities face mounting challenges with the nation’s opioid epidemic, the nation’s two largest general farm organizations, Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, are teaming up to confront the issue.

“If you would have told me a year ago that it was a problem, I would have said no. But when you start looking at the numbers and we’ve actually had instances of people we know that have been involved with some problems with opioid addictions," Youngberg said.

Although the two farm groups don’t always agree on the issues impacting rural America, they agree on this one. It’s going to take people working together to fight the opioid crisis and make a difference.

“We both agree that opioids can spell disaster for a farm family and ranch family so we’re trying our best to educate and communicate the ways we can help if you are addicted to it,” said Alan Merrill, Montana Farmers Union president.

Farm Bureau and Farmers Union have launched a new campaign, Farm Town Strong, to raise awareness of the opioid crisis and to let people know help is available.

“There’s treatment for it and there’s things you can do for these people, but you have to be aware of it in order to do that," Youngberg said. "So it’s important we make them aware that it’s okay to say, 'I’ve got a problem here. I can’t stop taking these.'”

Reducing the stigma that surrounds addiction is also important for solving the opioid crisis.

According to Dr. Greg Holzman, a state medical officer with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, it's important to stop thinking that people addicted to opioids are bad people with bad habits.

"Many of them are good individuals with a very difficult addiction," he said. “Think how addictive someone must be to a medication to steal from their own family, which people will start to do because they need that fix and feel they need to get that. Once you can get them stabilized, luckily, we do have treatments for opioids, people can change their own lives.”

It’s also important to talk about it so those addicted know they’re not fighting this alone.

“I think the most is education and passing the word on about other people who have gone through the opioid addiction process and the devastation that can happen not only to your family but your own life," Merrill said.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union have launched a new website to provide easy access to information and resources that can help struggling farm families and rural communities.

Source: MTN & Northern Ag Network


Leave a comment

Add comment


Recent Ag News

Northwest Farm Credit Services Names Montanans to New Leadership Roles

8/13/2018 12:56:00 PM

Northwest Farm Credit Services’ Montana State President Bill Perry has been promoted to Executive Vice President-Lending and Insurance at the company. Megan Shroyer, currently the company’s Montana Senior Vice President-Credit, has been promoted to replace Perry as Montana State President.

>> Read More
Article rating: No rating

What the Hay: Montana Bale Trail

8/13/2018 11:53:00 AM

The premier event of the Montana Bale Trail is the annual WHAT THE HAY contest.  This amazing display of whimsical, cleverly decorated and sculpted hay lines a 22-mile route from Hobson to Utica to Windham. This years event will be held on September 9th. Expect to see over 50 hay bale sculptures.  People’s Choice Ballots will be handed out at the contest entrances in Hobson and Windham, beginning at 8 a.m.  Live ballot voting ends at 5 p.m.

>> Read More
Article rating: No rating

MDA to Hold Waste Pesticide Disposal Events in September

8/13/2018 7:54:00 AM

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture’s annual Pesticide Disposal Events will be held in several locations across Montana during September. The collection events will be held September 18 in Havre; September 19 in Great Falls; September 20 in Bozeman; and September 21 in Columbus.  The annual events have collected more than 586,860 pounds of waste pesticides since it began in 1994. 

>> Read More
Article rating: No rating

Controlling Leafy Spurge with Sheep on Tippet Rise Ranch

8/13/2018 6:02:00 AM
Noxious weeds are devastating to a healthy landscape. That’s why a ranch in South Central Montana is using both art and sheep to promote good land stewardship. >> Read More
Article rating: No rating

National Cattlemen's Foundation Accepting Applications for W.D. Farr Scholarships

8/12/2018 5:54:00 PM

DENVER (August 10, 2018) -  The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is now accepting applications for the W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2018-19 school year. Two annual $15,000 grants will be awarded to outstanding graduate students who demonstrate superior achievement in academics and leadership and are committed to beef industry advancement. The awards will allow the students to further their study in fields that benefit the industry. 

>> Read More
Article rating: No rating

Find Articles by Date

«August 2018»