AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation has opened registrations from the industry’s next generation for the 2019 National Merino Challenge in Sydney in May.
AWI said the 2019 NMC at the Sydney Showgrounds on May 25 and 26 this year will provide young people with an understanding of the career opportunities within the sheep and wool industries and deliver basic skills of appraisal, using both traditional and modern methods.
The challenge has two sections – late secondary and tertiary – and is open to years 11 and 12 and tertiary students, Australia-wide. The tertiary sector includes university students and those studying through TAFE or another RTO.
AWI said the challenge will involve students attending the two-day workshop, which incorporates an industry dinner to meet fellow students and key industry figures, and have a bit of fun.
AWI’s general manager of operations Nigel Gosse said the National Merino Challenge had established itself as a leading education program for students interested in a career in the wool industry.
“During the two-day event, students are introduced to and then assessed on their skills across a wide range of areas such as feed budgeting, condition scoring, breeding objectives, wool harvesting together with the commercial assessment and classing of animals and fleeces.
“The program has a strong history of success and continues to grow in popularity each year, delivering late-secondary and tertiary students the knowledge and skills involved with producing Merino wool,” Mr Gosse said.
“While AWI has developed valuable educational resources and projects for primary and secondary students, transferring best practice breeding skills and knowledge to future Merino industry participants is an important part of the future of our industry.”
Techniques from several well-known industry initiatives, such as MERINOSELECT, Lifetime Wool and visual sheep scoring, are used throughout the NMC, giving students a realistic and practical insight into the tools available to growers to make more informed decisions.
The NMC provides teachers with materials and techniques to prepare their students for the Challenge, as well as providing the students with materials they can use to get ready for the NMC.
Students can choose to do as much or as little work in the lead up to the NMC as they like. Materials are provided to all participants and their teachers to create a more even playing field.
To be eligible, interested students must be active in the Merino industry with skills and experience in one or more of the following areas, as a:
Entries for the 2019 National Merino Challenge are open now and close on Monday May 6, 2019.