National Merino Challenge
The 2014 National Merino Challenge – an initiative of Australian Wool Innovation – is attracting some of the highest quality agriculture students from schools, TAFEs, agriculture colleges and universities across every wool growing region of Australia.
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria is the host venue provider for the 2014 National Merino Challenge at the Melbourne Royal Agricultural Showgrounds.
Three students attending the challenge in May participated in preparing profiles of their interest in careers in agriculture.
Their stories showcase the talent and extraordinary young people who are the future of Australian agriculture. Please follow the links below.
For further enquiries or interest in participation at the National Merino Challenge, please contact Charles Impey, the Education and Training Adviser for NSW and the ACT, Phone: 0419 496 876 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
World’s No 1
Australia is the world’s number one producer of premium quality fine wool, and is the largest producer of all wools by value and volume.
Wool was Australia’s second largest agricultural export in 2006-07 behind beef, valued at $3.07 billion and making up approximately 11 per cent of total farm exports. Australia ships wool to 52 countries with the biggest being China, which takes around 65 per cent of the national clip.
Wool production offers a challenging, physical and interesting lifestyle, often involving extensive travel and living away from home for short periods. Young workers view working visits to regional and remote areas of Australia as an attractive benefit. Wool harvesting occurs in all states and there are good financial returns for top shearers and woolclassers during the shearing season.
Most new entrants to the industry will begin as wool handlers but workers will generally choose to follow one of two main pathways early in their career.
Australia has around 5,000 shearers and a similar number of wool handlers and crutchers. More than 1,000 new staff are required annually, plus 300-400 new woolclassers.