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Beyond the Bale : March 2018
46 2018 NATIONAL MERINO CHALLENGE The 2018 National Merino Challenge (NMC) is heading to the Adelaide Showgrounds on 19 and 20 May to encourage the next generation of the wool industry. Now in its sixth year, the annual event has provided around 500 secondary and tertiary students with the basic skills involved in the wool industry – both traditional and modern methods – as well as an understanding of the career opportunities within the industry. Run by AWI, the two-day NMC involves presentations and demonstrations from industry professionals. Students participate in seven ‘mini-challenges’, testing their knowledge of Merino fleece, production, breeding and selection. Techniques from several well-known industry initiatives, such as MERINOSELECT, Lifetime Ewe Managment and Visual Sheep Scores, 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 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 Registrations open in March for this year’s National Merino Challenge which is being held in Adelaide. The National Merino Challenge is an AWI initiative designed to allow young people to engage with the Merino industry by developing their knowledge, skills and networks. or another registered training organisation. An NMC Industry Dinner will also be held enabling the students to spend an evening with a range of wool industry participants, from woolgrowers to wool brokers and researchers. Emily Attard who competed last year as part of the University of Melbourne team and who won the individual award in the tertiary division said she found the NMC to be a very informative and rewarding experience. The AWI Graduate Training Program is aimed at graduates from a broad cross section of disciplines who have a background in or connection with the Australian wool industry. The 18-month program starts each year in March and provides the successful applicant with a thorough understanding of the wool supply chain from fibre to fashion. Based primarily at the AWI office in Sydney, the graduate will also be given the AWI GRADUATE TRAINING PROGRAM APPLICATIONS AWI is now seeking applications for the 2019 program. opportunity to gain a global exposure to the wool supply chain through two three-month international rotations. Whilst in Sydney, the graduate will gain exposure to the following areas of the business: • Sheep Production • Woolgrower Services • Processing Innovation & Education Extension • Marketing (including Marketing Services, Digital, and Fashion Communications). Applications for the 2019 AWI Graduate Training Program open on 1 April and close on 30 April. MORE INFORMATION To apply, please select the AWI Graduate Training Program at www.wool.com/careers or apply through Seek or LinkedIn. “It is practical and hands-on, with a range of industry professionals imparting their experience and advice to students,” Emily said. “It is great that AWI runs this initiative as it enables ag students to get involved in the sheep and wool industry and see the opportunities in it – there is nothing like the NMC in any other industry." MORE INFORMATION To register for the 2018 National Merino Challenge in Adelaide or for more information, visit www.awinmc.com.au. Registrations open this month. Students testing their skills in sheep selection at last year’s National Merino Challenge. 46 ON FARM
In the Shops - March 2018