Aberdeenshire is a distinct peripheral part of Scotland. It is an important agricultural region with its own culture and export orientated farming systems. The arrival of the North Sea oil industry in the early 1970’s brought regional prosperity and high employment levels (until recently). Over the last 250 years switches in emphasis between state intervention and reliance on the markets have been important contributors to the contemporary agricultural situation. The CAP, over the same period of time as the oil industry, has influenced the number, roles and conditions of fewer agricultural workers in the county. This history attempts to set the research questions from this seminar into a more complete perspective.