Welcome boost to women in agriculture programme

Gemma Cooper, who heads the policy team at NFU Scotland.
Gemma Cooper, head of the policy team at NFU Scotland.

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NFU Scotland has welcomed news that the personal development programme for women in agriculture has been launched, with participation commencing in October 2021 and applications for 2022 now live.

The Scottish Government-funded Be Your Best Self programme is an integral part of its vision to make Scottish agriculture 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.

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 at www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/women-in-agriculture

Be Your Best Self aims to support women living or working in agriculture in Scotland to build their confidence, enhance their skills, and develop their leadership abilities.

Several team members within NFU Scotland participated in the pilot including head of policy team Gemma Cooper, who said: ‘It is fantastic to see the Scottish Government further invest in the development of women in agriculture in Scotland.

‘From personal experience, this is an excellent programme and one that any woman working in Scottish agriculture should consider.

‘This course is the next stage from 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.

‘Investment such as this can only be a positive thing for industry and for organisations such as NFU Scotland as it will help ensure that talented individuals are enabled to progress in their careers and in representative organisations.’