Owner and Operator of Dandy Ram Farm in Monroe, Maine
I’m excited to invite you to my conversation with Bo Dennis of Dandy Ram Farms. Bo is a flower farmer, a new farmer advocate and rural queer activist. This is an insightful and honest interview, and I’m very grateful for Bo’s trust in sharing his story on the podcast. As a queer and trans person who has lived in rural spaces his entire adult life, Bo’s lived experiences offer a glimpse into the hardships LGBTQ+ people still face when it comes to accessing health services, and feeling safe and accepted in their rural communities. He has lived in small towns throughout Maine, ranging from a small island of only 11 year-round residents to current hometown with 900 residents. Bo is deeply passionate about breaking down the many barriers in farming and speaks on the real need for more financial transparency and acknowledgment of privilege in the small-scale farming space.
In addition to running his small-scale flower business, Bo also works for the Maine Organic Famers and Growers Association - as a New Farmer’s Program Specialist - where he helps connect new farmers to educational, financial and infrastructure support to get their farm business going.
I really appreciate Bo's candidness in speaking up about his own privileges and the role that access to finances played in him being able to start up his own farm. Something we speak about in his interview, is the myth of the "bootstraps narrative," and how by continuing to buy into this idea, we inadvertently discourage aspiring farmers and business owners who may not have access to capital or family land to farm.
In our conversation we speak about his experience as a queer person living in rural America, farming and farm activism, making a living as a farmer while grappling with climate change, and his hopes for the future of agriculture. This is a story about self-love, resilience, and not letting anything get in the way of living your purpose. I hope you enjoy listening.
Thank you Bo for sharing your story with us!