News

Ex-farmer says many struggling

By Country News

John Lilford has been volunteering at Kyabram’s branch of St Vincent de Paul for the past four years.

The former fifth generation dairy farmer said St Vincent de Paul, along with other support organisations, was being pushed to its limits.

‘‘We have a lot of farmers coming to us for help with food and household bills and that is something I haven’t really seen before,’’ Mr Lilford said.

He said many were struggling with mental health issues.

‘‘Some of our region’s farmers are depressed and can’t see a way out. They can’t sell because no-one is wanting to buy their farms, and the financial pressure they are under is enormous.’’

Mr Lilford fears a whole generation of dairy farmers is about to be lost.

‘‘We are losing a generation of farmers, not just here but on the world scene as well. This is a critical and very serious issue for food production.

‘‘There is nothing to entice young people into the industry at the moment and it is in a real mess.

‘‘We all know when the dairy industry is doing well the whole town and the community thrive.’’

■If you or someone you know needs support please phone Lifeline on 131 114, beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978.