A mental wellbeing survey with a target of gathering 26,000 responses from farmers and those in the agriculture industry has been launched.
The largest survey of its kind ever to in England and Wales has been unveiled by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).
The Big Farming Survey aims to identify how complex challenges within the sector are impacting people’s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as farming businesses.
It will identify the specific challenges that a generation of farming people face, as well as highlighting how these impact daily life.
It comes amid growing awareness that there are some fundamental wellbeing issues in farming that need to be better understood and addressed.
“RABI is acutely aware of the mounting pressures in the sector,” said the charity's chief executive, Alicia Chivers.
“To serve our community effectively, we require a greater understanding of how these factors affect daily life which is why we’ve launched the Big Farming Survey."
The online survey, which has its eyes set on receiving 26,000 responses, only takes 15 minutes to complete.
The research will enable RABI to formulate more effective tools and support strategies to enhance farmer wellbeing now and into the future.
Delivered in partnership with the Centre for Rural Research based at the University of Exeter, the survey is open to farmers, farm workers, spouses and adult-aged children.
“Farming people are raised to be ‘robust’ and ‘resilient’, yet these expectations simply aren’t realistic. We are not indestructible," Ms Chivers said.
"By initiating frank and honest conversations, I believe we can begin to ‘normalise’ our vulnerabilities.”
The survey runs until 31 March 2021 and can be completed online on RABI's website.
Alternatively, printed copies in English and Welsh can be requested by emailing FarmSurvey@exeter.ac.uk.