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Giant HELP sign in field is plea from farmer

The Connexion, Apr 14

Passengers flying into Paris-Orly airport can see a heartfelt message from an angry farmer in the fields below… as he has grown crops to form the word HELP.

Jacques Fortin, who farms at Athée-sur-Cher, near Tours, Indre-et-Loire, said farmers were facing real hardship and had gone through four very difficult years with poor harvests – in 2015 he had barely covered his costs of production.

Speaking to local newspaper La Nouvelle République, he said he was living on €350 a month and that was “unjust when I work every day and much more than 35 hours a week. Today, farmers can’t take any more. Every day we hear of suicides and no one cares.”

The sign, 100m long by 42m tall, is clearly visible to planes coming in to land at Orly as his farm is on the flight path and Mr Fortin said he planted wheat seeds to create it last November.

He said farmers were “a despised, decried profession. In the 60s, we were earthy and uncultured with dirty hands; in the 1980s, we became the main polluters of society.”

But he said the industry was failing disastrously and no one was listening. He added: “Our politicians are deaf to our anger but they may not be blind!”

His 160 hectare arable farm produces wheat, maize, sunflower, clover, flax and sorghum.

Fellow farmer Vincent Louault, the mayor of a neighbouring commune, interviewed him and posted a video on YouTube of the sign.

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