By Neale McQuistin

MORE women and girls living and working in Scottish agriculture will be able to apply for funding for courses to help develop their skills in 2022. Eligible courses include support to get tractor and trailer driving certificates or help to train sheepdogs.

The Practical Training Fund, which was launched last year and is administered by Lantra Scotland, has already supported more than 400 women and girls to undertake courses to develop their skillset or change careers.

From 30th December 2021, women and girls over the age of 13 have been able to apply for up to £500, or more on a case by case basis, for the cost of a practical or technical training course through the fund, with the first batch of successful applicants being notified by the end of January 2022.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This year, we have committed £300,000 to support women in agriculture, including: the wider roll-out of the personal development training programme ‘Be Your Best Self’; a project to test innovative solutions for childcare in rural areas and the development of Skillseeder – a skills sharing app which provides an easy to use one-stop shop to find training and skills development opportunities across the country, particularly for those in rural and island areas”.

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 1329 prime hoggets and 322 cast sheep at their opening sale of the year at Ayr yesterday. Top hoggets at the sale were Texel crosses at £147 per head, while top per kilo was a pen of Beltex crosses at 318p. The same consignor had another two pens of Beltex crosses that made 307p/kg. Prime hoggets averaged 272p overall (-3p).

Cast Ewes sold to £200 for Texels with another pen of Texels not far behind at £196.

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd sold 83 clean cattle, 56 cast cows, 990 prime hoggs and 211 cast sheep at St Boswells yesterday.

Twenty-nine prime bullocks sold to 290p/kg to average 259p (+35p since previous sale on 20th December 2021), while 54 prime heifers peaked at 300p to average 262p (+14p).

In the cast ring cows peaked at £1805 and 209p to average 150p.

Prime hoggs sold to £152 for Texels and 333p/kg for Beltex to average £124 or 279p (+1p).

Heavy cast sheep sold to £175

for Texel tups to average £131,

while light ewes peaked at £149 for North Country Cheviots to

average £94.