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The Important Reason Farmers All Over the World Are Taking Tractor Selfies

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Farmers are posing in front of their tractors for a cause that doesn’t usually go hand in hand with heavy machinery — suicide prevention. Using the hashtag #TractorSelfie4Rob, farmers are using their selfies to bring awareness to suicide among the farming community and raise money for Papyrus, a suicide prevention charity in the U.K.

Alex Paske started the campaign in memory of Rob Chapman, a farmer from Thurning, Northamptonshire, England, who was 29 when he took his own life last year, according to FG Insight.


For decades, farmers across the country have been dying by suicide at higher rates than the general population, according to a Newsweek cover story from last year. In what the outlet called an “international crisis,” Newsweek said the rate of farmer suicides in the United States is almost two times the rate of the general population, and in the U.K., one farmer a week dies by suicide.

Farming can be an isolated job especially during the summer, when farmers can be sat alone in tractors for hours on end, allowing their thoughts to run away with them,” Paske told FG Insight.

Now, farmers are taking to Twitter and Facebook with their tractors to spread the word that it’s OK to seek help. They’re then encouraged to make a donation to Papyrus by texting “RFTG64” with the amount they want to donate to 70070.

So far the campaign has raised almost 3,000 euros (or about $3,300). There will also be a Tractor Run in December with a 5-euro entrance fee. All the proceeds will go to Papyrus.


If you’re in the United States, you can donate online by clicking here.


Originally published: August 17, 2015
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