RABI to conduct UK's largest ever farmer wellbeing study

The survey's results will inform the farming charity's service offering in the future
The survey's results will inform the farming charity's service offering in the future

A farming charity will conduct the largest ever research project into farmer wellbeing in England and Wales, launching in 2021.

The survey, spearheaded by charity RABI, will seek to better understand mental and physical wellbeing issues facing people in agriculture.

The research will be the largest survey ever undertaken to gain an understanding directly from farming people of the stresses they face and the impacts on their wellbeing of these challenges.

RABI says it is looking to attract 26,000 responses from farmers across the country.

“We know the farming community is facing changing and increasingly complex challenges,” said Alicia Chivers, RABI’s chief executive.

"This research is fundamental to ensuring we really understand how these pressures impact on our people, allowing us to continue to develop really effective tools and support to enhance their wellbeing."

Working in partnership with Exeter University, the survey aims to gather the most comprehensive and reliable information directly from farming people.

The results will inform RABI’s service offering in the future and provide the sector with an overview of the issues that the current generation of farming people are facing.

"We must work collectively now to ensure the right support is available for all who need it," Ms Chivers said.

The research will be led by Exeter University's Professor of Rural Resource Management, Matt Lobley who has 30 years’ experience of conducting research with farmers.

His colleague Dr Rebecca Wheeler, who is also part of the research team said: “For the first time this research will explore the relationship between mental health and well-being, physical health and the health of the business.”

This latest announcement is part of RABI’s new strategy, which saw the charity launch its online wellbeing and counselling services last month.