Women in Agriculture Taskforce

Role of the group

The Women in Agriculture Taskforce aims to tackle inequality in Scottish agriculture and ensure the potential of women in farming is realised to better represent the progressive Scotland we live in today.

Its activities will centre around – but will not be limited to – the recommendations in the Women in Farming and the Agricultural Sector: research report.

In doing so, the taskforce will be working to help deliver Scottish Government priorities, including: a sustainable, productive thriving rural economy; inclusive growth; tackling inequality and providing a fairer Scotland for all. The taskforce will be focused on delivery of outputs, rather than discussions.

It will:

  • consider each of the 27 recommendations and deliver proposals to take them forward
  • deliver both short-term solutions aimed at delivering specific recommendations and longer-term solutions aimed at cultural change
  • deliver solutions that are practical, effective and future proof
  • consider appropriate actions beyond the 27 recommendations
  • call in experts for further specific advice as required
  • commission further research and reports as required
  • publish a mid-term report in June 2018 and a final report in September 2019, setting out progress
  • put in place arrangements to monitor progress beyond the lifespan of the Taskforce


The taskforce will be time limited, with a lifespan of around 12 to 18 months.


The Scottish Government commissioned the Women in Farming and the Agricultural Sector: research report, which was published in June 2017. This research established a baseline position on women in farming and the agriculture sector and drew up a series of 27 recommendations to improve it. The First Minister launched the research and committed to taking forward its recommendations through the establishment of a taskforce.


  • Fergus Ewing - Cabinet Secretary of Rural Economy and Connectivity, Joint Chair
  • Joyce Campbell - hill farmer and Joint Chair
  • Nina Clancy - Chief Executive of RSABI, Scotland's agricultural charity, Director SAOS and AgriScot and partner in a sheep enterprise in the Borders
  • Patrick Krause - Chief Executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF)
  • Professor Wayne Powell - Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC
  • Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland - Senior Researcher, The James Hutton Institute
  • Professor Sally Shortall - Duke of Northumberland Chair of Rural Economy, Newcastle University
  • Dr Annie McKee - Social researcher in land management, The James Hutton Institute
  • Andrew McCornick - a beef and sheep farmer from Wigtown, President of NFU Scotland
  • Andrew Marchant - QMS Monitor Farm, new entrant, tenant farmer, upland farm, Clonhie Farm, Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire
  • Sarah Jane Laing - Executive Director Scottish Land and Estates, lives on family farm in the Borders
  • Sandy Hay - Bank of Scotland Area Director Agriculture, representing the bank on agricultural matters across Scotland
  • Anne Rae MacDonald - partner of an arable farming business in Easter Ross, director of Highland Business Services co-operative and a council member of SAOS Ltd
  • Janelle Anderson - Scottish Association of Young Farmer's Clubs (SAYFC)