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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
Nicola Turner is a young woman from the land with a real passion for the wool industry. She was raised on her family-owned and operated grazing property near Broken Hill, NSW running Merino sheep, cattle and goats. Nicola explains, "I attended boarding school in Adelaide for my secondary education but before I went away it was a struggle for Mum to keep me in the school room as I was always off helping Dad with any sheep work that was on, and during boarding school holidays I was always keen to get home and help out." When Nicola left school, she worked for two years before going to university. "Having two years off after school gave me time to mature and helped me determine that I wanted to pursue a university degree involving agriculture and in particular, the sheep industry. I am currently completing my final year of a Bachelor of Animal Science, majoring in Livestock Production at the University of New England (UNE)." Nicola has been financially supported during her degree with an Australian Wool Education Trust (AWET) scholarship of $6000 per year. As part of her scholarship obligations, Nicola had to complete work experience each Wool scholarships creating opportunities year within the sheep industry. "I have completed a range of sheep industry work experience in both wool and meat production. This included working with the Australian Wool Testing Authority in Melbourne, attending wool sales, competing in the Intercollege Meat Judging Competition as well as on farm experience on both stud and commercial properties," Nicola says. "I also participated in last year's inaugural National Merino Challenge run by AWI which was a great opportunity to practice skills I had learnt but also to meet many other young people interested in the sheep and wool industry. This was such a fantastic experience and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in sheep." UNE is the only university in Australia offering specialised studies in sheep and wool science. Five specialised units are offered at UNE: Sheep Production, Wool Biology and Measurement, Wool Marketing and Clip Preparation, Wool Processing, and Fundamentals of Sheep and Wool Production. All of the sheep and wool units are offered externally, so Nicola had the opportunity to meet students from ten different universities across Australia also studying the units when they attended intensive schools. Now nearing the end of her university studies, Nicola is thinking of the future -- for both her and the wool industry. "I am looking forward to studying the Sheep Production unit in my final year and I hope it will help develop my knowledge and skills as I am most interested in the production of wool," Nicola explains. "In the future, I would like to be involved with research into wool and sheep production. I then want to use this knowledge to not only help myself, but others, to breed highly productive sheep and run them in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way. "I also hope to be involved in educating other young people about the Australian wool industry and promoting it, as I feel it is a very important part of our country's history, present and future." More information: Are you a keen student ready to begin or currently studying agricultural/rural/animal science or agribusiness across Australia with an interest in the sheep and wool industry? If so, contact UNE on email@example.com for scholarship and wool unit information or visit www.une.edu.au/wooleducation Nicola Turner from Broken Hill has been financially supported during her studies at the University of New England with a scholarship from the Australian Wool Education Trust. FAST FACTS l The wool industry's next generation is being offered scholarships to help them in their studies. l The University of New England offers a comprehensive range of sheep and wool units. l The Australian Wool Education Trust directly funds delivery of the units and provides financial support to students from any university to attend. l As part of scholarship obligations, recipients have to complete work experience each year within the sheep industry. 48 ON-FARM March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE