A new initiative, Agrespect, has been launched to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the farming industry.
A website is being developed to share experiences from the LGBTQ+ community in a bid to break down barriers, and the people behind it are calling on farming organisations and companies to back its aims.
“There are thousands of LGBTQ+ people living in the British countryside – some of them working in very senior positions in UK agriculture,” the organisers say.
“We are proud of this. We love rural tradition, but not when it prevents people from living their best, most authentic lives.”
Agrespect is committed to increasing the visibility of these people and celebrating their achievements, both professional and personal.
The project will seek to promote the farming industry and the countryside as a vibrant and welcoming place to make a home and lead a fulfilling career.
It also hopes to provide inspiration to rural people who currently feel pressured to suppress their true selves.
“Despite some steps forward, there is still a very long way to go before most rural industries, businesses and communities can call themselves truly diverse and actively inclusive,” the organisers add.
Agrespect is contacting organisations and businesses, asking them to become partners by signing a pledge which states: “We stand against prejudice and support and encourage rural LGBTQ+ diversity and acceptance.”