‘Good Roots’ highlights mental health in next Arkansas PBS segment


Nov. 18 feature shows how an Arkansas farmer shines light on a stressful profession

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — After losing a friend and fellow farmer to suicide, Lakeview, Arkansas, third-generation farmer Darrin Davis is hoping the stress hanging over farmers changes. In a new “Good Roots” segment, Davis shares how he is getting farmers in his community to talk through issues when they’re feeling down and guide them toward helpful programs. “Good Roots” premieres Friday, Nov. 18, during “Arkansas Week” at 7:30 p.m. on Arkansas PBS and livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch.

Suicide rates among farmers have risen 40 percent, which is six times the national average, within the last two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, suicide is rarely talked about within the farming community.

A mixture of long hours, unpredictable weather, rising fuel costs, aging equipment and the high price of new technologies has contributed to turning people away from farming. Despite this, Davis, who owns Lakeview Farms, has been through the ups and downs of the industry.

“Farming is not very forgiving, but this is a passion of mine,” Davis said. “I love it and wouldn’t rather do anything else.”

During bad and good years, Davis wakes up early, works long hours and makes crucial decisions, but he has taken everything in stride and has been able to bounce back by preparing for the bad when the times are good.

Now, he’s taking things he’s learned and trying to make an impact within the farming community.

“Good Roots,” produced in partnership with Arkansas Farm Bureau, seeks to shine a light on Arkansas’s rich rural culture and communities. Segments focus on the real stories of rural life, while addressing relevant topics like agriculture, health care, the economy, technology, policy and more. The segment airs the second Friday of each month during “Arkansas Week.” Additional information is available at myarpbs.org/GoodRoots.

Segments and bonus footage of “Good Roots” are also featured on all Arkansas PBS digital platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, the Engage Arkansas PBS app and the PBS Video app. A blog series accompanies the segments at myarkansaspbs.org.

Major funding for “Good Roots” is provided by Arkansas Farm Bureau.

About Arkansas Farm Bureau

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization with almost 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life. Farm Bureau is an independent, voluntary organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity, social advancement and promote the national well-being.

About Arkansas PBS

Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain), KETS (Forrest City) and KETS (Gaither).