Farm 2 Facts is thrilled to announce that we’re currently developing a new metric to represent LGBTQ+ vendors at farmers markets. LGBTQ+ farmers are an underrecognized but essential part of agriculture, especially sustainable agriculture. We spoke with University of Wisconsin sociology PhD candidate Jaclyn Wypler, who studies queer and transgender sustainable farmers in conservative rural communities. Wypler found that even despite the historically hostile environments lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer (LBTQ) farmers faced in the Midwest, they formed networks with other LBTQ farmers for both friendship and professional support.
One lesbian sustainable farmer from Wypler’s fieldwork stated that “My queer community is not my farming community and my farming community is not my queer community.” Through this metric, Farm 2 Facts want to embrace both identities at once: farmer and LGBTQ+. As you probably know, Farm 2 Facts is made for representing the impacts of your market to stakeholders through data, especially funders. We hope that the inclusion of this metric will not only help you show your market’s diversity of sexualities and gender identities, but also help stakeholders view LGBTQ+ inclusion as a priority for farmers markets. Our work coincides with Wypler’s soft launch of the first ever quantitative survey on queer farmers in the United States.
We are creating this metric with an eye for protecting vendor privacy. Farm 2 Facts is designing a data collection process that only allows the vendor and the F2F team to know their response to the survey. The market manager will be able to see the final percentage of LGBTQ+ vendors in their market, but they will never be able to see any vendor’s individual response. F2F will never share an individual’s response for any reason, neither research nor advertisement. In addition, since the metric is self-reported, a vendor has the option to decline answering.
For now, Farm 2 Facts is implementing this metric for Canadian farmers markets. We began to create this metric thanks to the suggestion of Justin Cantafio from Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia, who originally wanted to see a more inclusive version of the women vendors metric. As much is possible for a small nonprofit organization, Farm 2 Facts develops our product for our members. We want our toolkit to be useful for your market’s purposes.
If you have any feedback on the LGBTQ+ metric, or suggestions for any aspect of Farm 2 Facts, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!