Welcoming women to farming

The Scottish government is to back a programme aimed at making Scottish agriculture a fairer, more inclusive industry, where farm succession is not determined by gender.

Training is also to be accessible to everyone and more women able take on senior roles in agricultural organisations.

The ‘Be Your Best Self’ programme is a personal development programme for women in agriculture.

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The programme follows a successful pilot run in 2019-20 and will support up to 200 women over the next two years. The 2021 course is already full but applications for 2022 are now open. More details and the application form can be found on the rural payments website.

The head of NFU Scotland’s policy team, Gemma Cooper, who took part in the pilot scheme, welcomed the move.

She said that the programme aimed to support women living or working in agriculture in Scotland to build their confidence, enhance their skills and develop their leadership abilities.

“It is fantastic to see Scottish government further invest in the development of women in agriculture in Scotland,” she added. “From personal experience, this is an excellent programme and one that any woman working in Scottish agriculture should consider.”

The course follows on from the work carried out by the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, a panel which included past NFUS President, Andrew McCornick.

“The pilot courses had excellent feedback and I know they were a huge benefit to those who attended them,” said Cooper.

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