Now it its sixth year, the NMC has introduced more than 600 secondary and tertiary students to basic wool industry knowledge and skills while also introducing them to a network of wool industry professionals. This year, more than 120 students took part.
The NMC gives young people an understanding of the career opportunities within the sheep and wool industries and delivers basic skills of appraisal using both traditional and modern methods.
The National Merino Challenge has established itself as a leading education program for students interested in a career in the wool industry. NMC project manager Ben Watts said the NMC continues to grow strongly because it delivered what enthusiastic young people wanted.
“It was great to see the eagerness and energy of the students so keen to learn about wool which is a credit to them and their teachers. The NMC is also fortunate to receive tremendous support from this great industry.”
You can hear more from the NMC in the latest edition of The Yarn podcast here.
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.
Australian Wool Innovation Sheep Industry Specialist Stuart Hodgson said the NMC is an example of the strong focus on education at AWI which is helping train the next generation of woolgrowers and wool specialists.
“It takes an enormous effort from a large team of people to run the NMC, we have a great NMC organising committee supported by AWI staff to make this a success. It’s been a great team effort all round and a big thankyou to Ben Watts for this.”
AWI would like to thank the following partners of the 2018 NMC without whom the event would not be possible: Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA, Landmark, Government of South Australia, Australian Wool Network, Rodwells, Bank SA, Merino SA, Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders, Elders, Australian Wool Education Trust, Techwool Trading, Michell, Fox & Lillie, Career Harvest.
For those keen on NMC 2019 in Sydney, please view www.wool.com/NMC for more information.