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Gloucestershire Business News

University walks with the farming community at Pride parade

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) joined members of the farming community at the 2019 Brighton Pride parade, walking alongside a tractor resplendent in rainbow colours.

The RAU's Director for Students, Julie Walkling and Governor Julie Robinson were among 300,000 people at the event, which promotes diversity and education and works to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ+ communities.

The Cirencester-based University was parading with Agrespect, a network which campaigns for inclusion in the rural sector.

RAU staff joined representatives from across the land-based industry including Defra, the National Farmers Union (NFU), Welsh Government, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and agricultural science institution, Rothamsted Research.

The group walked with the rainbow coloured 'Sassy Ferguson' tractor, painted for the occasion, driving at the front of their section.

Julie Walkling (pictured right) said: "It was inspirational to hear thousands of people cheering on UK farming, as the RAU joined the Pride parade. It's so important that we continue to celebrate and encourage inclusiveness and diversity in rural areas and professions.

"The University wants to be right at the heart of this work, not least because our industries need to attract and develop the brightest and best from every background."

Agrespect aims to increase the visibility of members of the LGBTQ+ community working in the rural sector and to celebrate their achievements, both professional and personal. The RAU is one of a number of universities and colleges among its partner organisations.

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