The Agricultural College sees a 100% increase in women studying agriculture

Louse Fletcher said employers had never had a problem with having women in agriculture

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

Moulton College, in Northamptonshire, said the rise was “absolutely fantastic”.

Louise Fletcher, head of the school of land and equine studies, said more women posting about careers on social media had a positive effect.

Robyn Beale, a student, said: “People will tell you ‘you’re a woman – you can’t do that’ but you can.”

Enrollments of full-time students aged 18 to 21 in agriculture courses increased from 49 in 2020-21 to 86 this academic year.

Within these figures, the number of women has increased from nine (18% of students) to 21 (24%).

Jessica Byford

Jessica Byford said she wanted to be a farmer because she likes ‘working with my hands’

First-year student Jessica Byford, from Rushden, said she was encouraged to study after going to the college’s open day and seeing “a lot of girls”.

“I think social media is very influential; there are a lot of women now on social media who are influencing agriculture and reasons why you should be involved,” she said.

Robin Beale

Robyn Beale has learned about animal husbandry, machinery, new technologies and sustainability along the way, she said

“Women have always been in farming but it’s a male-dominated industry,” said second-year student Ms Beale.

“They encourage all types of people to come into farming.

“They make it really clear that everyone is welcome and that social media is influential and people aren’t afraid to get on it now.

“You will always have challenges,

“It’s more about your mindset.”

Agricultural Students at Moulton College, Northamptonshire

“The course has become quite modern, we do a lot about the future of farming and where it’s going,” said Robyn

Mrs Fletcher said: “We’ve had over a 100% increase in women taking our agriculture courses over the last two years, which is absolutely fantastic.

“I believe that a lot is due to the fact that there is a greater promotion of women in Ag [agriculture] now; There are a lot of social media stars pushing to be a woman and what they can do in agriculture.”

She said having female speakers helped and “people see our social media posts of women doing exactly what everyone else is doing and hopefully that makes them realize it’s something they can do too.”

“Having women in male-dominated areas brings a fresh perspective on things as well,” she added.

Two female students at Moulton College, Northamptonshire

The college offers hands-on experience to practice working with animals

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