ONE of the biggest dairy regions in Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway, is setting-up a group aimed at encouraging all women who contribute and play key roles in the dairy industry to come together and share their wisdom, produce ideas, inspire and support each other.

The network, which is supported by NFU Scotland, was launched at the union’s stand at last week’s Stewartry Show.

It is open to all women involved in the dairy industry, from farmers’ wives, partners, daughters and vets to feed nutritionists, dairywomen and milk recorders.

Tracey Roan, a dairy farmer at Boreland of Colvend, Dalbeattie, and founder of the Dumfries and Galloway Dairy Women Network, said: “I have often felt that within the dairy industry there is a lack of practical hands-on training for women who have married into the industry, or for those who want to get into the industry.

“The terms, ‘It’s aye been done that way’, and ‘my way is the best way’, aren’t always the case and if women could access training and information more easily, they could become more involved in the business, as old ways won’t open new doors.”

The need for the network was highlighted in the recent findings of the women in farming and agriculture sector research from the Scottish Government, which identified a need for easier access to, and uptake of, practical training. 

Currently, this can be very difficult with many women juggling careers away from the farm, raising young families, or working full time.

The Dumfries and Galloway network is holding its first official meeting on Tuesday, September 26 at the Laurie Arms, Haugh of Urr, at 7pm, with anyone with an interest in this group encouraged to attend.

Tracey added: “Our first meeting is a taster session of what could be offered, with Stella Milson, from NHS Dumfries and Galloway, attending to discuss the newly launched health and wellbeing in the farming community project. We are hoping that ideas and suggestions will flow from women who are the backbone to many dairy farming businesses.”

As well as meetings, the network will also be hosting events such as field days, and be attending other events.
NFU Scotland regional manager for Dumfries and Galloway, Teresa

Dougall, said: “The union is delighted to support the network and work alongside Tracey and dairy women in the region to build a stronger network and support platform. 

“It has been encouraging to already see an appetite for this group and we look forward to attending its first meeting in September.”