Highlighting Queer Farming Networks

Queer farming comes with challenges not faced by farmers who are cis-gender, or straight. There is first the obstacle of acceptance that they can be a farmer. It may sound silly but often the public’s ideas surrounding farmers are often a white, straight, cis-gendered couple farming on their generational family farm. This image is perpetually shown to us in commercials, films and news segments. This expectation or stereotype, harms queer, gender non-conforming, and people of color. First, lack of representation of diversity in farming is discouraging to LGBTQ+ young people who may have wanted to farm. Secondly, this stereotype also has negative affects on farmers’ access to land, labor, credit, and knowledge surrounding farming. The role of sexism, racism, and heteronormativity in agriculture is often pushed to the side and forgotten. Rural LGBTQ+ people looking for community and support will often have to choose between their desire to farm and the desire to be part of a community that accepts them. LGBTQ+ people looking to farm will often have to leave behind a supportive and safe community in order to gain access to land. This push and pull is harmful to queer communities and queer peoples’ access to agriculture. There are many programs and networks that are working to support queer farmers access to land, knowledge, community and support.Today I would like to highlight some programs that are targeted towards aiding queer farmers.

Lesbian Natural Resources: Non-profit organization, working to aide lesbian land and community projects. Focusing on maintaining community land, developing rural skills and highlighting self-sufficiency. http://www.lesbiannaturalresources.org/programs

Humble Hands Harvest: Worker owned co-operative farm, hold conferences and programs that celebrate and connect queer farmers. https://humblehandsharvest.com/queer-farmer-convergence/

Cultivating Change Foundation: Non-profit organization working to support LGBTQ+ agriculturalist through advocacy, education and community. https://www.cultivatingchangefoundation.org/

Out in the Open: Based in Vermont, a non-profit network that works to connect rural LGBTQ+ to increase community, visibility and knowledge. https://www.facebook.com/WeAreOutintheOpen

Idyll Dandy Arts: Community Land project and educational space that provides residential and communal space for QTPOC. https://www.idylldandyarts.com/

Country Queers: Ongoing multimedia project that highlights, curates, and preserves LGBTQ+ oral histories. https://countryqueers.com/about/

Sources: Isaac Sohn Leslie (2019) Queer Farmland: Land Access Strategies
for Small-Scale Agriculture, Society & Natural Resources, 32:8, 928-946, DOI:
10.1080/08941920.2018.1561964

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