The Big Farming Survey: understanding the wellbeing of the farming community

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The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, RABI, has launched the largest ever research project relating to the wellbeing of farmers, farm works and their families.

The Big Farming Survey is aimed at understanding people’s physical and mental wellbeing within the sector, as well as the health of farming businesses.

With mounting pressures and continued uncertainty in the sector, this research will provide a comprehensive and vital overview of the farming community throughout England and Wales. The research aims to identify the specific challenges that farming people face and highlight how these impacts on daily life.

Having supported the farming sector for over 160 years, RABI has set a target of gathering 26,000 survey responses by the 31 March 2021. RABI’s Chief Executive, Alicia Chivers is urging everyone in farming to support the project.

“To serve our community effectively, we require a greater understanding of how the challenges and uncertainties facing farming people are affecting daily life., We believe this important piece of research will deliver greater insight into the issues that impact on daily life and inform our understanding,” explains Alicia.

#BigFarmingSurvey is being used on Twitter

“It only takes 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire and everyone who participates will be making an important contribution towards building a comprehensive picture of life in agriculture today. The research will enable RABI and our partners to develop more effective tools and services to enhance farmer wellbeing now and into the future.”

“Beyond anecdotal or regional evidence, there is a pressing need for broad-scale, reliable evidence regarding the wellbeing of farming people. To achieve this we’re working with organisations and businesses throughout the industry to promote the Big Farming Survey through their networks.  Even more importantly, we need individuals to get involved, set aside 15 minutes to complete the survey and ask the other members of your household or farming network to do the same.

Conducted by the Centre for Rural Research at the University of Exeter, the survey is open to all farmers, farm workers, their spouses and adult-aged children until 31 March 2021.

The survey is available online at , and hard copies are also being distributed in key farming publications, or can be requested from

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