As part of our Motivate and Inspire series of events, the Women in Agriculture groups are having two meetings with a panel of women who are making their mark. All have different backgrounds, businesses and community enterprises in the Highlands and Islands, so we think their experiences will strike a chord with everyone. We hope you can join us to hear their tales and experiences.
- Karen Scholes, Scholes Ltd, an accountant based in Orkney. Karen started her professional life as a sole practitioner in her father’s accountancy business. The same business is now a limited company, of which she is now a director and shareholder. She was a finalist in the 2005 Association of Scottish Businesswomen Awards and is heavily involved in nurturing young people in business through work with the Young Enterprise Orkney and the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust. She has experienced first-hand the highs and lows of working within an industry and a community that is male dominated.
- Barbara Girvan is a pumpkin farmer! Based near Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire, Barbara started up a pumpkin patch on the family livestock farm. The patch has had great success, and Barbara is now adding to the diversified enterprises on the farm with sunflowers, and a cut-flower business.
- Helen O’Keefe, who sells breeding and store lambs, mutton, fleeces and yarn from her croft at Elphin. She set up the successful online food hub ‘The Green Bowl’, offering meat, vegetables and fruit from a range of growers from Elphin to Ullapool, Coigach and Assynt. Helen also runs the Elphin Tea Rooms, a popular tourist stop-off, in which she offers croft produce and home-baking. She serves the township as Grazings Clerk and has been very active in developing projects for various schemes. Helen also won Young Crofter of the Year 2020!
- Mairi MacKenzie is from Letters, Ullapool where she has a croft with a fine flock of NCC’s and a small herd of Luings. Mairi took on the role of an elected commissioner on the board of the Crofting Commission and can explain what its like to be on a board, and to be in the public eye.
- Flora Corbett farms on Mull, juggling several enterprises – holiday cottages, a newly renovated shop/tearoom, a ‘ready meal’ business which provides the holiday cottages throughout the island with food made from her own beef, lamb and venison, plus is the Chairman of the Mull Slaughter House, a community run abattoir currently employing 5 full time employees.
I hope you will agree this is quite a line-up! Do let us know of any questions you’d like to ask in advance. If you can’t make this meeting, why not attend the event on the 16th March.
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