The presidents of the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union participated in a panel discussion about the opioid epidemic in rural communities at the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo last week. Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization, moderated the discussion.
Together, Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union created Farm Town Strong, an online resource for people affected by opioid addiction in rural communities. Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, said that at first, he thought the opioid epidemic was only an issue in urban areas of the U.S.
“When we first started talking about this, I didn’t really think that it was a major issue in rural America,” Duvall said. Statistics from Farm Town Strong show that 74 percent of farmers and farm workers “say that they have been directly impacted by the opioid epidemic.”