In the front yard of a home in rural Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a porch handpainted with Mickey Mouse and the words "Save Our Job."

Its owner, 71-year-old Lawrence Swade, had seen a man in a pickup truck plow his cows into a pond this past December. Swade said he saw that man moments before he left.

"We started yelling at him. But it was too late," Swade told CNN. "He was gone."

Last year in Iowa, there were 10 farmer suicides, an annual jump of 13. The previous year, there were six.

The rising death toll is fueling a growing national debate over how to help financially troubled farmers who struggle to find affordable ways to feed a rapidly growing population of one-third more people in just 50 years. Meanwhile, a series of moves by Trump's administration have bolstered agriculture, driving up stocks and the value of farmland — a dilemma the president hoped to fix by reworking trade deals.

"It doesn't have to be this way," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said on Wednesday. "We as a nation can do better for our farmers and ranchers. And it begins with finding ways to make farming more competitive."

For Swade, last year's outflow has broken his family.

The family farms on 4,000 acres in northwest Iowa. Its soybeans, corn and wheat bring in about $20 million in revenue a year, Swade told CNN. In 2012, the Swades' farm was worth about $9 million.

In the face of what has been a tough year, "we've lost everything," Swade said.

But looking out the window, he sees luck riding the farm horse of his sisters, who operate the property next door.

"It's as good as I've ever seen it," he said of his neighbors' pigs.

The swine have already mauled Swade's dairy cows. The family's engine has needed to be replaced.

The latest sign of adversity, Swade said, will be his nephew who will lose his farm this spring, after getting a Federal Emergency Management Agency check of $30,000 to replace his home's missing propane heater.

And Swade is the only one left who wants to keep farming.

He still has the cows, and he still has the land, and he still drives the family tractor, and he still does the making and buying of seeds, he said.

And he still loves doing what he does for a living.

"This is what we do," he said. "We put up a fence, put up a new barn, and then we start farming again."