The Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie has commended the Producteurs de lait du Québec for a $5,000 donation to its crowdsourcing campaign to maintain the services of two agricultural mental health field workers in the Montérégie region. The generous donation was made as part of World Mental Health Day on October 10.
The Producteurs de lait du Québec are particularly sensitive to this cause because dairy farmers are among the most severely affected by mental health issues in the course of their work. “Financial pressure, long working hours, the way our practices are viewed by certain groups of citizens, the impact of weather conditions on the management of our farms and intergenerational conflicts are issues that can affect our mental health. When the pressure becomes too great, or when nothing goes right, it is essential to have people to confide in who know the nature of our work and who can help us find solutions adapted to our realities, so we can regain our psychological balance,” says Peter Strebel, president of the Montérégie-Ouest regional council of milk producers and member of the board of directors of the Producteurs de lait du Québec.
“For our organization, the issue of mental health of our members is a priority,” says Jérémie Letellier, who is the president of the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie. “The Montérégie is a large territory with more than 6,800 farms, so hiring a second resource to meet the needs of farmers quickly became necessary. The donation from the Producteurs de lait du Québec is significant, and we are grateful for this support,” he added.
The Montérégie region includes 879 dairy farms, 368 of which are in the Montérégie-Ouest. These farms provide about 20 per cent of the province’s milk production each year. (ID)