Applications open for Scottish women in ag training scheme

Women who work in the agriculture sector in Scotland are being urged to apply for a personal development programme, designed to help farming become a fairer and more inclusive industry.

The Scottish government is extending funding for the Be Your Best Self programme after a successful pilot in 2019-20.

The initiative will support up to 200 women over the next two years, to encourage more women to take on senior roles in agriculture and develop their leadership skills.

See also: Scots women offered funding for agricultural training

There is a concern that women are under-represented in the farming sector, and a belief that Scotland’s rural economy will be stronger if women are enabled to fulfil their potential.

The 2021 course is already full, but applications for 2022 are now open.

The programme is free, with no costs attached at all for the online elements, which will be delivered by Zoom.

However, if participants choose to attend a residential course when face-to-face training elements resume, they may have to pay for overnight accommodation and travel.

Beneficial to women in agriculture

Gemma Cooper, head of the policy team at NFU Scotland (NFUS), said she had taken part in the pilot and called it a programme that any women working in Scottish agriculture should consider.

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

“Investment, such as this, can only be a positive thing for the industry and for organisations such as NFUS, as it will help ensure that talented individuals are enabled to progress in their careers and in representative organisations.”

More details and the application form can be found on the Rural Payment and Services website. 

Courses in business skills and in leadership development for women are also in the planning stages, to follow on from the Be Your Best Self programme.