Training fund for women in agriculture

Monika Reichelt

A new scheme aimed at promoting equality and providing more opportunities for women in Scottish agriculture has supported more than 750 trainees since its launch last year.

Among the projects to be supported by an overall package of more than £400,000 is the Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund, administered by Lantra Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, enabling women to benefit from courses in a range of areas, including tractor and trailer driving, sheepdog handling, lambing, cattle hoof trimming, and chainsaw use, will receive while funding to the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs will see board members develop their leadership skills to create greater diversity in the boardrooms of the future.

To mark the success of the scheme and celebrate their achievements, some of the women who received funding attended a reception at Lantra Scotland’s Royal Highland Show on Friday 24th June, attended by Mairi McAllan MSP Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform.

Lantra’s Scotland Director, Dr Liz Barron-Majerik MBE MICFor, explained more about the training fund:

“Research into the gender imbalance within agriculture in Scotland suggested that women needed more support to access vocational and practical training. This led to us working with the Scottish Government to create a fund specifically for women, covering costs of up to £500 for those who could show how the practical training would support their business or employment options.

“We are all extremely proud of everyone who has used our women in agriculture fund to develop their skills and talents. By making the sector more accessible, we are ensuring the long-term sustainability and resilience of Scotland’s rural economy”.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “We are committed to building a fairer society and part of that includes enabling all women living or working in Scottish agriculture to have equality of opportunity. 

“This untapped potential is critical to helping our agricultural businesses to be more resilient and able to diversify, meeting the needs of changing markets.

“We want to see more women joining those who are already developing a career in Scottish agriculture, which is why it’s important women are given these opportunities in what has been a very male-dominated area.

“We all have a pivotal role to play in implementing the changes needed to deliver a sustainable future for Scottish agriculture and the Royal Highland Show is an ideal platform to showcase that.

“The future will bring challenges that will impact us all, but I am totally focused on how we can support our agricultural industry to be resilient and sustainable and the projects we are supporting ensure women will be a key part in a vital industry that is also helping to meet the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.”

See the press release on Scottish Government website.