Women in Agriculture

Image showing a women in agriculture driving a tractor

Our vision is for Scottish agriculture to become a fairer, more inclusive industry, where farm succession is not determined by gender, training is accessible to everyone, and more women take on senior roles in agricultural organisations.

By ensuring equality of opportunity and that we use everyone’s talents, we will help to make Scottish agriculture a more resilient and economically sustainable industry.

Are you a woman living or working in Scottish agriculture? Maybe you see yourself as ‘just a farmer’s wife’; perhaps you’re a partner in a large farming business; maybe you own a croft or smallholding; or you might work for an agricultural organisation?

Whatever your role or connection to Scottish agriculture, there are training courses and networks available to you. We want to help you develop your talents, pursue your business goals and achieve your full potential.

We know that women have always been an integral part of Scottish agriculture. The industry could not survive without the contributions of women; whether working on farms, crofts and small holdings, supporting their families, or being involved in the wider rural economy.

However, research on the farming sector (2017) showed that women’s work can often be undervalued, downplayed, or simply unseen. We want to change that.

We believe that Scotland’s rural economy will be even stronger when women are enabled to fulfil their potential and have equality of opportunity within Scottish agriculture.

Scottish Government has committed £300,000 per year, for three years, to support women by implementing the recommendations of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce. The recommendations, contained in the Final Report of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, are a series of practical actions to bring about cultural change within the agricultural industry. We are taking positive action to level the playing field for women in agriculture.

Our Women in Agriculture Development Programme is a series of training courses, designed to support you by building your confidence, enhancing your skills, and developing your leadership abilities.

Be Your Best Self

*** Be Your Best Self workshops are currently suspended due to COVID-19, but will be rescheduled when possible. You can still apply by sending your completed application form to womeninagriculture@gov.scot. Please do not send paper forms or any kind of payment at this time, as we cannot collect or process them.***

  • Are you a woman living or working in Scottish agriculture?
  • Do you feel like you need to re-focus on your life goals?
  • Do you want to build your confidence and discover the true value of your skills and strengths?
  • Are you looking for new opportunities and possibilities?
  • Would you like to connect with other women in Scottish agriculture?
Apply now for one of our Be Your Best Self courses: personal development training for women in agriculture.

Course attendees have said that Be Your Best Self: ‘is life-affirming’; ‘ has given me a renewed sense of vigour and hope for the future’; ‘is a completely new way forwards, finding yourself and coming home’.

Read more here about the experiences and reflections of women who have taken part in the Be Your Best Self training course.

Following on from Be Your Best Self, there will also be courses in business skills and in leadership development for women in agriculture. These have been delayed due to COVID-19, but we hope that planning will resume shortly.

The Farm Advisory Service is also running knowledge transfer events for women in agriculture. Find out what’s on and sign up here.

  • Crofter Shona Grant-Mackintosh blogs about her experience of attending the Be Your Best Self course.

Women in Agriculture Scotland - a group recognising the contribution of women working in land-based industries. They provide access to mentoring, networking and development opportunities.

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

Dumfries and Galloway Dairy Women Network

Women in Enterprise

Women's Business Centre

Women in Agriculture discussion groups run by the Farm Advisory Service