Agricultural college sees 100% rise in women studying farming

Louse Fletcher said employers had never had an issue with having females in agriculture

The number of trainee female farmers at a college has doubled in the past two years, Moulton College has said.

In Northamptonshire, it said the rise was "absolutely fantastic".

Louise Fletcher, head of school for lamb and equine farming, said more women posting about careers on social media was having a positive effect.

Robyn Beale, a student, said: "People will tell you 'you're female - you can't do this', but you can."

Enrolment of full-time students aged 18 to 21 on agricultural courses has gone from 49 in 2020-21 to 86 in the current academic year.

Within those figures, the number of women has risen from nine (18% of students) to 21 (24%).
First year student, Jessica Byford, from Rushden, said she was encouraged to study after going to the college's open day and saw "lots of girls".

"I think social media is a big influence; there's lots of women now on social media influencing agriculture, and reasons why you should join," she said.

"Females have always been in agriculture, but it's a male-dominated industry," said second year student Ms Beale.

"They're encouraging all types of people to come into the agriculture industry.

"They're making it really clear that everyone is welcome and social media has an influence and people aren't afraid to come into it now.

"You're always going to have challenges,

"It's more about your mindset."
Ms Fletcher said: "We've had over 100% increase in females attending our agriculture course in the last two years which is absolutely fantastic.

"I think a lot of it is down to there's more promotion of women in ag [agriculture] now; there's a lot of social media stars that are pushing out about being a woman and everything they can do in agriculture."

She said having female lecturers helped and "people are seeing our posts on social media of women doing exactly what everybody else is doing and hopefully that's making them realise that it's something they can do as well".

"Having women in male-dominated areas brings a new look at things as well," she added.