A new partnership has formed between The MacRobert Trust and Inclusive Farm to provide people with disabilities or additional needs a new route into agriculture.

A new farming enterprise entitled ‘Inclusive Farm Scotland at MacRobert’ will be designed for people with disabilities through the provision of land and buildings by The MacRobert Trust in Tarland, Aberdeenshire.

The new farm will be based on the model from the original Bedfordshire site, and is in the process of transitioning to become a Community Interest Company.

New route into agriculture

Inclusive Farm was founded in January, 2021 by Mike Duxbury and Ness Shillito.

Students with additional needs are welcomed onto their farm to be given the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career in agriculture.

Mike, who was recently appointed as CEO of Inclusive Farm Scotland at MacRobert, lost his sight at the six years-of-age, and is excited to bring opportunities to people alike in Scotland.

“90% of blind people, and 78% of autistic people, are unemployed – but it doesn’t have to be like this.

“We’re seeing first-hand the impact of providing skills such as animal husbandry has had, and we are excited to bring these same opportunities to Scotland.

“We are delighted to be partnering with The MacRobert Trust. Together, we will create unique learning environment which puts people with disabilities, additional needs or difference in the driving seat.

“Too often disabled people are told what they need, and we are determined that their voices and needs are met.”


The director of Inclusive Farm Scotland at MacRobert, Dr. Jenna Rosse OBE, said that she is “delighted to support this partnership with The MacRobert Trust to bring the Inclusive Farm model to Tarland, Aberdeenshire, land near where my family has farmed for generations.

“I’ve had the honour of supporting Mike and Ness since the inception of Inclusive Farm. Last year, we initiated discussions on bringing the concept to Scotland following a fantastic event hosted by Women in Agriculture Scotland at the Royal Highland Show.”

The OBE added that she to the families involved in the programme, as her “younger brother Duncan, who was registered blind at birth, has struggled to find an accessible route into agriculture.

“This is an exciting opportunity to co-create a unique and empowering learning environment that is built by, and for, people with disabilities, additional needs or difference.”