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Presenting: The 2024 QFC's!

We are thrilled to announce there are three Queer Farmer Convergences on the books so far for 2024! Click on each listing below for full event details and registration info. Details for the BIPOC gathering in Texas coming soon!

About the Queer Farmer Convergence

what: 

The Queer Farmer Convergence is a grassroots gathering format for LGBTQ+ in the farming world to make connections and build real-time community through loosely organized programming, community-run workshops and round tables, movement building activities, and simply being together on the land in a joyfilled, restful, and inclusive space as queers. 

QFCs tend to be largely outdoor, on-farm gatherings where attendees camp, share food, and spend the days attending scheduled sessions including opportunities to make art, discuss movement-relevant topics, learn practical and land-based skills, and offer and participate in workshops. The hosts provide the structure that shapes the days, but all who attend co-create the space in some way - through their presence, contributions to conversations, skill and workshop offerings, and the sheer magic that happens when queers converge.

why:

 The gathering was conceived to provide a space of respite for farming and rural queers who may experience isolation in a variety of intersecting identities in their work, and who may be particularly vulnerable to the mental health struggles well known to both farmers and LGBTQ+ community members. Equally important, the QFC exists as a means to interrupt racist, capitalist, colonial, and heteropatriarchal legacies in U.S. agriculture, and to support the marginalized farmers at the center of transforming these legacies through their radical approaches to farming and landwork and intersecting justice movements related to queerness, racial justice, labor, climate, and more.

who: 

We welcome current, aspiring, and lapsed farmers, gardeners, landworkers, and growers of all shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds, neurospectrums, and identities within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Within that, everyone who wants to come is 'queer enough' and 'farmer enough', and commitment to this sense of belongingness is cultivated by all our organizing teams. Sometimes regional or affinity-based QFC's have attendance limits, such as regional limits or QFC's for BIPOC-only. But those limitations will be clearly noted and easy to find in registration info for each gathering. If you ever find there is not a QFC for you to attend, we encourage you to get in touch about hosting a QFC for your own regional community of queer farmers!

history: 

The first QFC was hosted in 2018 at Humble Hands Harvest, a worker-owned co-op farm outside Decorah, Iowa. It was organized by a group of local farmer friends who had the desire, capacity, community, and land access supporting them to create and host QFCs. The labor involved in hosting these gatherings has primarily been volunteer-based and grassroots, with funding coming from community organizations and local businesses. Since 2021, there have been new QFC's that have emerged in Virginia, Michigan, and in 2024, new events for BIPOC farmers only in Wisconsin and Texas.

 

This work emerged in Iowa - one of the whitest states in the country - and in the farming sector - one of the whitest industries in terms of ownership and wealth. Thus, we acknowledge there has been an overrepresentation of white bodies at QFC's to date.  This is something we have attempted to combat by reserving a third of QFC participant spaces for BIPOC, providing free registration and travel stipends to BIPOC attendees, as well as supporting the creation of two new BIPOC-only gatherings in the South and the Midwest. We believe that making the necessary transformations to agriculture is impossible without Black, Indigenous, and Farmers of Color at the helm, and stand in support of all efforts being made toward Land Back, worker and immigrant worker power, and land-based reparations to Black farmers.

 

future: 

It is our hope that these spaces of respite, movement building, and crafting our queer farming futures together continue to spread and grow into new regions and serve more community members.  To aid us in this quest, we have an in-depth QFC host support resource compiled by our past organizers available to share with any prospective organizers looking to start up a new gathering in a new and underserved area. This guidebook contains details of our organizing structures, tips for creating inclusive community spaces, how to locate funding for events, and much more. It can be printed at home for free and used and expounded upon by your teams as you organize. If you're interested in hosting a new QFC, you can reach out to us directly and we will get you set up with the resources you need to get you started.

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FAQ

Is the convergence accessible for people with mobility issues and other disabilities?

The current QFC's that have taken place have all occurred outdoor in a farm setting. The accommodation we have is tent camping, and most of the gathering is on grassy sloped ground. We're willing to get creative based on your accessibility needs, and we know that we won't be able to meet them for everybody, based on our context.

For those with neurodivergence and other related access needs, we do typically offer designated quiet, sensory recovery spaces, encourage breaks from scheduled activities and socializing, as well as intentionally welcome folks to be present as their full, ND selves.

Transportation: How do we get there?

Closer to the convergence time, organizing teams send out a carpool google doc for people to connect about ride sharing, as well as information about local public transportation options, airport shuttles, etc.

 

Is rural Iowa a safe place for BIPOC and trans* folks?

We can vouch for our immediate rural neighborhood as a safe place to be, and to a large extent for the town of Decorah (population 8,000), a liberal arts college town which has hosted a pride festival since 2018. Iowa's demographics are 90% white, which means that a lot of Iowans don't have much experience of racial (or gender) diversity. We as organizers want to support folx in making their way safely to our farm--please contact us directly with concerns.

 

How much does it cost to attend?

We use a gift economy ethic for this gathering: we want people to contribute in a way that feels affordable and generous for them. To that end we have a wide sliding scale, from $25 to $150 for the weekend, which includes all meals! 

 

Where does the money that's raised by the event go?

Funds go toward renting tents and porta potties, catering, host farms, and BIPOC travel stipends. We locate the money to run the QFC primarily through sponsorships from organizations that want to support our community. If you'd like to donate to our events you can do so here!

 

Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Catering from gathering to gathering varies. At the Iowa national gathering, Blazing Star Eats, a queer owned local food business, will be catering the food, mainly serving vegetarian meals with options for those who are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

 

Are kids welcome at the gathering?

Yes! Let us know if you are bringing young humans, and what kinds of support you need in caring for them and keeping them entertained! We've brought in childcare from outside the convergence in the past, and we've also taken turns as attendees in spending time with the kids there.

Can I bring my dog?

No :)

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