In Celebration of Pride Month

A Message from the Dean

June 13, 2022 Craig Beyrouty

Dear colleagues,

Here in the college, we often discuss the importance of establishing a more intimate connection between humankind and our food system, and the idea of creating community, belonging, and purpose through the food we grow and eat. The American public has somewhat lessened its commitment to these philosophies over the past few decades, but there are signals that society may be pivoting back. A set of individuals in particular on the front lines of this reversal is the LGBTQ+ community.

In celebration of Pride Month, I’d like to recognize the modern-day impact that LGBTQ+ members are having upon the agriculture industry, in particular, their dedication to reversing stereotypes that the farming community is homogenized through a traditional male/female partnership. There is an excellent article from the National Farmers Uniontitled “LGBTQ+ Farmers Work to Build Queer-Inclusive Rural Communities,” which details a mini movement taking place, with an increased focus on enhanced cooperation, community, inclusivity, reduced isolation, and a more equal distribution of agricultural products. To learn more about how they are breaking down these norms, and to consider how you might play a role as part of this movement, I encourage you to read this piece.

It’s comforting to see that the agricultural industry is increasingly embracing the various communities, races, and ethnicities that bring diversity and excitement to our food system. We are seeing this trend in our youth education system as well, particularly within 4-H through their commitment to an inclusive culture and a positive youth development experience for all participants.

If you’re interested in a deeper engagement with Pride Month here in Maryland, has a comprehensive list of celebratory events, all free of charge. Please consider attending an event if your schedule allows. Thank you colleagues, and please continue to enjoy your summer months!


Craig Beyrouty
Dean and Director
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources