LGBTQ farmers often go unnoticed. But their perspective may help reshape agriculture

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7/8/22

Growing up on her family’s farm in Coggon, Iowa, Shae Pesek couldn’t envision being able to have the life she wanted here. She didn’t know any queer people in agriculture. “I really didn’t feel like that was an option for me,” Pesek said. “So, I thought for me, to be out and have a wife and have this out relationship, or like, to even find and date someone, that I needed to move to a city. So that’s what I did. I left, and I moved away for eight years.” But agriculture called her back to eastern Iowa from San Diego. A while after returning, she met Anna Hankins, who had moved from the East Coast to work on a farm. Together, they started Over the Moon Farm and Flowers in 2019. It’s a direct-to-consumer farm with livestock and flowers. Hankins said now she and Pesek are the examples, especially for people who can’t or don’t want to leave, that you can live in rural Iowa, farm and be queer. “I do know for some people, we are for sure probably the first queer couple they have ever interacted with,” Hankins said. “I hope that it kind of maybe expands some people’s worldview.”

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