It used to be thought that farming was too physical a job for women but with advances in machinery there are now more females than ever enrolling to study agriculture.

Statistics suggest that women are increasingly looking to the industry for a rewarding career.

The latest higher education enrolment figures show that 25 per cent more women than men committed to an agriculture-related course last year.

While it would be wrong to suggest that farming isn’t at times physically tough, mechanisation means there is now less shovel work and sack carrying so it is much less back-breaking.

The breadth of agricultural careers in the 21st century means there is no reason why women should not think seriously about stepping into what is no longer considered a man’s world.

It is not just being around animals or driving tractors, it’s the science, technology, nutrition and agronomy sides too.

More than a quarter of the British agricultural workforce is now made up of females and, in three years, the number of women running farms has increased from 23,000 to more than 25,000.

It has been women who have been behind many farm diversifications; bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages, cheese and ice-cream making, farm shops and campsites.

Many started off on a small scale to contribute to the farm income but grew to become vital lifelines in the farm finances. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that these little enterprises that farmers’ wives set up have often proved to be the glue that has held together family farms.

With agriculture often perceived as a male-dominated industry, it’s important we recognise the leading role women now play. The industry must build on this.