As many of you know by now, my son, Will, lost his battle with depression a few weeks ago. This has been a shocking and utterly heartbreaking situation for me and our family as well as our friends and neighbors here in our community. The outpouring of prayers, love, and kindness not only from friends and colleagues nearby, but from so many of you involved in the NYS dairy industry has served as a reminder to me of just how amazing the people in this industry are, and how lucky I am to be associated with you. Though it will take time to heal, and we will never be the same, the caring we have been shown has been a great help.
Unfortunately, Will’s disease did not allow him to see a pathway out of some of the challenges he was experiencing. With all the stress in the dairy industry now, if you or a family member or a friend are feeling hopeless and having a difficult time, please reach out, talk to someone, get help, do it now. In the dairy industry, we often take pride in being self-reliant. That is fine when a night milker does not show up and you have to milk yourself, or your tractor is stuck in the mud and your phone is dead and you are two miles from home. But if you are having dark thoughts, don’t bear these burdens alone. My son was not able to see how much of a positive impact he had on the lives of the people around him and how much we needed him in our lives. He also did not see that he could rely on us, always, for help. Please know that you are loved and needed by your family. Please reach out and seek help if needed and if you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 immediately.
Thanks for your support,