The Scottish Government has announced plans to fund a series of training courses - titled 'Be Your Best Self' - designed to encourage women in agriculture to build their confidence and develop their leadership skills.

The programme follows a successful pilot run in 2019-20 and will support up to 200 women over the next two years.

The course titled 'Be Your Best Self', will be run over the next two years. Delivery of these courses will begin in October 2021, January 2022 and at regular intervals after that.

Training courses will be delivered both online and in-person (when face to face training can safely resume) so as to be as accessible as possible.

Applications for the course can be made here on the Rural Payments website. Those who have already applied and are on the waiting list will be contacted shortly.

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.

Be your best self

The Women in Agriculture Development Programme is a series of training courses, designed to support rural women by building confidence, enhancing skills, and developing leadership abilities.

Several team members within NFU Scotland (NFUS) participated in the pilot, including NFUS head of policy team Gemma Cooper, who said: “It is fantastic to see 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 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.”