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National Merino challenge to grow skills of young people
18
Jul '13
The National Merino Challenge (NMC) is a two-day, national breeding competition which will improve the engagement of young people with the Merino industry by developing their skills and networks.

It will involve presentations and demonstrations from industry professionals and the participants will 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 undergraduate university students and those studying through TAFE or another RTO.

A key part of the Challenge is the annual, two-day Train-the-Trainer (TtT) Workshop, which will ensure 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.

The inaugural NMC will be held in Dubbo, NSW on Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 August 2013. Students will be required to attend the two-day workshop, which will incorporate an industry dinner to allow the students to meet key industry figures.

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