The agency wants to change the image of US farmers by promoting LGBTQ farmers through several conferences.
"The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, in collaboration with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and The True Colors Fund, will engage with LGBT rural communities across the country to host the LGBT Rural Summit Series," the USDA said. "Each series will offer a unique opportunity for USDA and other federal agencies to share information relating to policies, programs, and services that exist to protect, promote and strengthen LGBT rural communities."
For information, the True Colors Fund is the foundation has launched out singer and activist Cindy Lauper to promote LGBTQ people, and to especially help homeless LGBT youth.
These summits are ways for LGBTQ farmers know a little how they can start their business, how they can get grants while addressing the problem of bullying. It is also about training.
The Agency of Agriculture estimates that about 10% of the LGBT community live in rural areas so it is also important to take them into account and support them because usually they are not necessarily very wealthy families and therefore life is quite difficult. So the campaign "Rural Pride" was created to give them visibility.
"We applaud the USDA for celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people living in rural communities across the country with this important series of summits," Lauper said. "LGBT youth comprise up to 40 percent of our nation’s homeless youth population. Those in rural communities face incredibly unique challenges and are such an important and often overlooked part of this conversation."
At a summit in Central Valley, California, the co-founder of the "Cultivating Change Foundation" stressed the importance of celebrating LGBTQ farmers:
"You do have gay farmers who are growing your food," said Marcus Hollan. "You have lesbian agricultural teachers in your high schools and your colleges teaching youth. It’s time we start recognizing them but also celebrating them."
Photo from nclrights.org