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The National Merino Challenge (NMC) began in 2013 and is a two-day, national breeding competition which aims to improve the engagement of young people with the Merino industry by developing their skills and networks.
It involves presentations and demonstrations from industry professionals and the participants compete through a series of 'mini challenges' designed to evaluate their knowledge of Merino breeding and selection, production and fleece.
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.
To participate in the NMC, students and their trainers must register and then participate in the two-day program, which incorporates an Industry Dinner to allow students to meet key industry figures.
A key part of the Challenge is the two-day Train-the-Trainer (TtT) Workshops, which ensures trainers are kept up-to-date with breeding and selection skills and industry knowledge (including recent research outcomes) so they can transfer this knowledge to their students. The NMC provides teachers with materials (whether or not they are able to attend the TtT Workshop) to prepare their students for the Challenge, as well as providing the students with materials they can use to prepare before coming to 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.
For more information, please visit the National Merino Challenge website www.awinmc.com.au
Melbourne - Saturday, 27 and Sunday, 28 May 2017
Sydney- Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 May 2016
Adelaide – Saturday, 9 and Sunday, 10 May 2015
Melbourne – Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 May 2014
Dubbo – Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 August 2013
The 2018 NMC will be held at Adelaide Showgrounds on Saturday, 19 and Sunday, 20 May 2018. Students are required to attend the two-day workshop, which incorporates an industry dinner to allow them to meet key industry figures and have a bit of fun! Registration opens in March 2018.