Fo­cus­ing on women in agri­cul­ture

The Galloway News - - GALLOWAY VIEW -

Emma Harper hosted an event at the Scot­tish par­lia­ment re­cently to cel­e­brate women in agri­cul­ture.

The south of Scot­land MSP and fel­low SNP mem­ber Gail Ross put on the event at Holy­rood, at­tended by more than 100 women from the sec­tor.

The evening was ad­dressed by Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Fer­gus Ewing and chair­man of Women in Agri­cul­ture Task­force Joyce Camp­bell.

Those in at­ten­dance heard about the re­search from aca­demics Pro­fes­sor Sally-Anne Shor­tall, Dr An­nie Mckee and Dr Lee-Anne Suther­land.

Emma Harper said: “I grew up on a dairy farm where my mum’s con­tri­bu­tion was just as im­por­tant as my fa­ther’s and since my elec­tion I have met so many in­no­va­tive and hard-work­ing women in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try.

For ex­am­ple, in Dum­fries and Gal­loway we now have a Women in Dairy Net­work – led by Tracey Roan.

“The agri­cul­tural sec­tor is vi­tal to ru­ral Scot­land and the con­tri­bu­tion of women in this male­dom­i­nated en­vi­ron­ment has been sig­nif­i­cant.

“How­ever, there are still bar­ri­ers to women who want to make their ca­reers in farm­ing. The cul­tural prac­tice of pass­ing on large farms in­tact to one son is the sin­gle big­gest bar­rier to women’s en­try into agri­cul­ture.

“Lack of time is also a ma­jor bar­rier to women ac­cess­ing the right train­ing. Women in agri­cul­ture are very busy, jug­gling fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, farm work, house­work, off-farm em­ploy­ment and vol­un­teer work.”

Holy­rood event South of Scot­land MSP Emma Harper and fel­low SNP mem­ber Gail Ross hosted a Women in Agri­cul­ture event at Holy­rood re­cently, at­tended by more than 100 women from the sec­tor.

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