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Agriculture students past and present invited to participate in new research

Agri students are invited to participate in new research (c) James Hutton Inst
"Scotland’s higher education system has trained thousands of women for work in the agriculture sector, but little is known about how these women are contributing to agriculture today, and what their aspirations are for the future.

Women who are current or former students of agriculture and related courses (including agricultural economics, rural business management, equine and horse care, and large animal veterinary practice) at college or university level in Scotland are invited to complete a new online survey which is available here. The survey focuses on the experiences and perspectives of agriculture students, past and present, who may or may not be living on farms, crofts or smallholdings. It looks at where women go following agricultural training/education, and what factors influence their career decisions and career trajectory. The students and alumni survey will remain open until 15 November 2016. All questionnaire responses will be anonymous and individual responses will remain strictly confidential.

From July to the end of September this year we ran a survey of women who live and/or work on farms, crofts and smallholdings. If you have completed this first survey, there is no need to complete the student and alumni survey. We very much appreciate your help with the research.

The two surveys form part of a Scottish Government-funded research project which seeks to identify the challenges for, and potential policy tools to improve women’s participation in farming and leadership of the agricultural sector in Scotland. The research, led by Professor Sally Shortall of Queen’s University Belfast, in conjunction with researchers from the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, will build a picture of women in agriculture in Scotland. The project will also provide recommendations to the Scottish Government for policy interventions that support women in agriculture and optimise the economic resource of the family farm.

Women who do not live and/or work on farms, but who contribute to the agriculture sector in other ways, have been participating in the research through interviews and focus groups across Scotland. For further information about the project, or if you would like to participate in the interviews or focus groups, please contact the Hutton project leader, Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland, telephone: 01224 395 285 or email


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.