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Women in Agriculture

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Karen Mowat

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Women in Agriculture

Women in AgricultureAgriculture

The First Minister announced the formation of the Women in Agriculture taskforce at the Royal Highland Show on 23 June 2017 in response to the 'Women in Farming and Agriculture Research Report' .

The task force is co-chaired by Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity and Joyce Campbell, a working Hill Farmer based in North Sutherland who, along with the other members, are committed to developing and driving forward real change.

The taskforce was highlighted in First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon's speech at last year's Royal Highland Show.

The First Minister commented "The Scottish Government commissioned the research which draws out some difficult issues as well as looking at some of the slightly less controversial issues facing women within Scottish agriculture.  If we are to achieve change we must be prepared to face up to and discuss and debate and challenge those difficult issues".

The remit of the taskforce was agreed at the first meeting on 14 September 2017.

The Taskforce published their Progress Report – Acknowledging Women in Agriculture in June 2018


In 2016, the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) commissioned research on ‘Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector’. The overall purpose of this research was to “establish a baseline position on women in farming and the agriculture sector, which then will influence future policies to enhance the role of women in these sectors going forward”. The specific aim of this research project is to investigate the role of women in farming and the agriculture sector in Scotland under five headings: daily life; aspirations; career paths; leadership; and comparative analysis with other family businesses.

Women In Agriculture

The research was undertaken by a collaboration of researchers at Newcastle University and the James Hutton Institute. The research was overseen by a Scottish Government Contract Manager, and a Research Advisory Group was comprised of Scottish Government policy officials and a range of stakeholder organisations.