Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has relaunched its travel scholarship opportunity after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scholarship programme had ran for almost 20 years prior to the break, offering an opportunity to travel to farmers, butchers, processors and others who are working full-time within the red meat sector.

Successful applicants spend up to six weeks studying elements of the beef, sheep or pork sectors in a country of their choice. The scholarship project must also demonstrate that it can make an ongoing contribution to the industry. 

“It gives us great pleasure to start a renewed search for potential scholars this year,” said James Ruggeri, HCC’s industry development executive.

“Investing time and money in the people working within the food and farming sector is important, now more than ever as our economy recovers from the pandemic. We are keen to play our part in the upskilling process and this is where the HCC Scholarship can help.

Suitable candidates will be keen to explore different ideas and develop their enterprise so that they’re fit for the future.

"They will also be eager to examine certain aspects of the industry and can prove to us that their study will benefit their own business and the sector here in Wales.”

Young Montgomeryshire farmer Thomas Howells, was awarded a HCC Scholarship in 2017, said his time travelling was great.

“It was a great opportunity and I felt like I had nothing to lose but so much to gain," he said.

"Being able to choose my own research topic - upland grazing management - made the scholarship appeal much more as I could gain knowledge which could benefit me in the future.

“The month that I spent in New Zealand visiting farms, universities and attending open days gave me the knowledge and confidence to develop systems at home which have proven worthwhile.

This has been a cost saving and simple.”

To apply, individuals must complete the application form on the HCC website before February 11, 2022. If successful, they will be awarded with up to £3,000 towards their trip.

In return, they will be expected to report back on their findings to HCC and be willing to share their new knowledge with the industry by undertaking presentations to farmer groups.

“There are many advantages associated with winning the scholarship,” James added.

Not only will you be given an opportunity to travel, but you will be allowed to explore an industry that you love, gain ideas and insights which could transform your business, and make useful connections around the world.

"You will also automatically become a member of HCC’s Scholarship Association which is another opportunity to gain valuable experience and advice from others within the industry.”