“I lived a double life” – the battle faced by many LGBTQ+ farmers

Pushing for better diversity and inclusion is important in every industry.

A 2018 report from the charity Stonewall found that, due to their sexuality, 18% of the UK’s LGBTQ+ workers had been negatively targeted by colleagues.

And the agricultural industry is no different. In fact, it can come with a whole lot of its own specific challenges.

Farming can be a lonely, high-pressure business. The UK Office for National Statistics says suicide rates in farmers are among the highest in any occupational group.

Every year, 50 gay farmers take their own lives, with the fear of coming out as one of the main reasons.

This simply cannot continue.

And there are great potential benefits to making our agricultural sector more diverse.

So, through the lens of LGBTQ+ farmers, in this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we explore diversity in agriculture.

Relevant resources:

The Samaritans

The Gay Farmer Helpline

Agrespect – the rural LGBTQ+ network

Amie Burke, Inclusivity Programme Manager, IGD

Amie has spent 15 years working in the agriculture sector, from banking to business improvement across the whole supply chain.

After four years travelling internationally helping clients with their sustainability goals, auditing and providing solutions for supplying farmers in places like Brazil, Guatemala, China, Madagascar and Vietnam, Amie took a role with AHDB to focus on people sustainability in UK farming.

Supporting development of new apprenticeships, hands on workshops developing leadership skills and delivering accredited training for upcoming managers provided insight and experience for Amie’s current role with IGD as Inclusivity Programme Manager.

As a passionate LGBTQ+ member, Amie takes her knowledge and emotional intelligence to deliver insight, best practice and a reverse mentoring programme for FMCG industry; helping to inspire change and support businesses to create inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive!

woman in field holding rainbow lgbt flag in golden sunset evening sunshine.

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“I lived a double life” – the battle faced by many LGBTQ+ farmers