Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

Australian dairy farmer takes own life amid falling milk prices

FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

An Australian dairy farmer's family has spoken out after the man took his life amid mounting pressures on his dairy farm.

James Guy was farming in Western Australia and it became to much for the dairy farmer when milk prices plummeted and he faced losing his farm. Now, Mary Guy, his widowed wife has spoken out and told 7 News in Australia about the impact on the Guy family.

James had been a farmer since he was 15 years old, she said, and now at 55 he was having to change.

"He just woke up one morning and said 'I can't do this anymore'. He was crying and said 'I wish the cows were dead, I wish I was dead'. And I looked at him and said to him 'Hell is this what we've come to?'

Mary and the family got James help, but shortly after he took his own life. "We're the reality of a farmer who tried and tired and tried and he just broke in the end," his wife said.

Daughter Rhiannon said the family is determined to try to hold onto the farm. "We've already lost dad. It would absolutely break me if we lost the farm too."

The family of a Western District farmer who took his own life because of falling milk prices has launched a public...

Posted by 7 News Melbourne on Thursday, August 17, 2017

His other daughter Courtney said: "To leave here would be to leave dad, in a way." She wrote an open letter on telling how the family had paid the ultimate price due to the crisis in dairying.

"By this crisis I meant the appalling state that farmers are in due to the horrendous milk prices, lack of support from factories, supermarket attitudes, increasing running costs and the overall financial pressure that farmers are facing."

Also Read

She said Australian dairy farmers are in desperate need of change, to enable them to continue doing what they love. Cut backs on farm gate prices, increased financial pressures, farmers with million dollar debts hanging over their heads, who are already struggling to make ends meet. "Imagine being in that position. Imagine not being able to feed your own children, let alone your animals."

The family is now telling their story as part of a public awareness campaign to raise awareness of the plight of dairy farmers to be launched in Australia.

Farming lobby group Farmer Power said low prices will force more farmers out and there may be milk shortages in a year or two.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article please contact the Samaritans on 116123 for support or visit the website on

Online Editors

More in Dairy