Women in Agriculture

Find out about training and support networks for all women living and working in Scottish agriculture.

Here, you will find information on the work of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce and links to practical support and resources for both individuals and training providers.

The Women in Agriculture Taskforce was set up by the Scottish Government in 2017 to bring forward practical solutions to the key issues facing women living and working in the sector.

The taskforce is discussing recommendations on farm safety. They need your help and input to determine what recommendations would be most effective. Complete the Women in Agriculture: Health and Safety survey to have your say.

42% of people working and living on farms and crofts are women, yet they often struggle to access the same training opportunities as men in the industry, or have an equal voice.

Women are often involved in diversification activities in farming and agriculture and can bring a new, creative approach to the family business.

  • Get support from other women living and working in Scottish agriculture by signing up to one of the women in agriculture groups on Facebook:

Women in Agriculture Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway Dairy Women Network

  • Get together with other women in your community and form your own local women in agriculture group. Ask your regional NFUS chair or your SAC farm advisor to come and listen to the needs of your group and represent your views at a higher level.

  • For access to business training and support, contact:

Women in Enterprise

Business Gateway

  • Are you a trainer or a training provider? Ensure your training is inclusive and open to all using our helpful checklist

  • If you are a training provider and would like advice or guidance on this, or to list your courses here, please contact us

The Farm Advisory Service are running a series of knowledge transfer events for women. Book your place.

If you are interested in taking part in training opportunities, please contact us to register your interest and we'll let you know when applications open.

As a result of its work and the inspiration it has gathered from women in agriculture programmes across the globe, including Canada and New Zealand, the Taskforce is recommending positive action to address women's training needs.

It has developed three pilot training programmes, the funding for which, was announced at the 2018 Royal Highland Show.The Scottish Government is now working towards the delivery of these three pilot programmes developed by the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, specifically aimed at women living or working in Scottish agriculture:

1. Be Your Best Self has just gone out to tender on the Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) portal, with delivery of the first workshop planned for this autumn. Each of the four workshops will be open to between 14 and 20 women and will be geographically spread throughout Scotland. There will be a £10 charge per person for this training. This course is for all women living or working in Scottish agriculture to help build their confidence, explore new possibilities and opportunities, and make new connections.

2. Women in Agriculture Leadership Development Programme. This will enable and empower more women living or working in Scottish agriculture to develop their abilities, take up leadership positions within their communities, regions, and at board level across the industry. It is hoped this will result in a future where there is more diversity in decision making at all levels.

3. Knowing your Business. This is being developed in partnership with banks, agricultural lenders and other relevant financial institutes and it is expected that those who become involved will contribute towards the cost of running the pilot. The pilot will help women involved in agriculture to increase their knowledge, skills, and confidence to help improve business performance and will assist them to identify efficiencies and benefits and improve the bottom line of their balance sheets, potentially encouraging diversification within the business.

How women can find out more? Women are encouraged to register their interest in the Be Your Best Self pilot and the other training opportunities by contacting the team at womeninagriculture@gov.scot

NFU Scotland - Scotland's leading agricultural organisation representing 9,000 farmers, crofters, growers and other supporters the length and breadth of the country.

Scottish Crofting Federation – an organisation dedicated to campaigning for crofters and fighting for the future of crofting. It is the largest association of small scale food producers in the UK.

Farm Advisory Service - part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme which is co-funded by the EU and Scottish Government, providing information and resources aimed at increasing the profitability and sustainability of farms and crofts.

Ayrshire Food for Ayrshire Folk – a community hub with a focus on food. Features a test kitchen and farm shop which can be used to trial new products.

Women in Scottish Aquaculture – a new working group which aims to introduce more women into aquaculture and support those already working in the sector.

Let us know about other women in agriculture groups and activities you may be involved in, or whether you have any great suggestions for women in agriculture events and training.

We'd love to hear from you, so please get in touch.