Iona’s a Woman in Agriculture

Iona’s a Woman in Agriculture

Graduate Surveyor Iona Smith, who is based in Davidson & Robertson’s Ayr office, is working towards her APC with the goal of becoming a Chartered Surveyor. But she is also a very busy lady away from the office. Iona grew up on an Ayrshire beef and sheep farm and was passionate about showing cattle from a young age. She recently started her own pedigree Shorthorn herd and milks cows in the evenings as well as being an active member of Ayr YFC.

In November 2022, Iona was voted on to the Women in Agriculture Scotland Committee where she sits on the Events and Social Media subgroups. Iona runs the group’s Instagram account, co-ordinating the popular ‘Takeover Tuesday’ where different people get the opportunity to share an insight into their daily lives each week. Iona decided to apply for the three-year stint after seeing a post on social media. She’d previously attended the SAYFC ‘Cultivating Leaders’ course which gave her the confidence to get involved from a social and networking point of view and now finds herself as the youngest committee member and the only one from Ayrshire.

What do WiAS have planned?

Women in Agriculture Scotland have an exciting schedule of events planned for the year ahead with the first happening on Friday 10th of March in Aberdeenshire in the form of a walk and talk at Sinclair Agricultural & Recycling Services followed by lunch then a tour of Mackie’s ice cream. The very popular Highland Show Thursday Breakfast returns in June and Iona is organising an event at The Coo Shed in Ayrshire on the 6th of September where she hopes to increase participation in her home area by arranging an exciting day with a line-up of innovative speakers. The theme for this event is ‘A force to be reckoned with’. The year will be rounded off with the AGM in November with speakers and format yet to be decided.

The committee are looking to set up more local focus groups in areas where there is a demand but where people might not want or be able to attend the headline events. The format of these will vary but will likely be more informal, evening meetings where people can get together and discuss any topics deemed relevant such as Wills, Succession Planning, access to finance etc. Just as important however is to facilitate like-minded people getting together and giving them a platform to air their views and essentially to see that others share the same worries and struggles as they do.

Why should you get involved?

Becoming a member of Women in Agriculture Scotland is currently free and Iona urges anyone involved in the industry, male or female, to sign up. The organisation is run as a charity and any costs involved in attending the events are purely to cover overheads, usually a very tasty lunch. Iona says the Committee is a great balance of people with different experiences and skills but who all are willing to pull together to make a difference. She says being involved has already been very rewarding and is looking forward to seeing what the group can achieve going forward.


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