Following on from the successful expansion of the School Wether Competition across the country, the prospect of a national event could one day be on the cards.
AWI Hobart consultant and former shearer Lachlan West was a guest speaker at a recent national ag teachers conference in SA, where he said a national competition could potentially return under a slightly different format in a further way to attract the next generation into the industry.
"Now that we have a wether challenge in each of the woolgrowing states, once they're all properly established, we may consider the idea of a national challenge," he said.
Mr West said details on how the comp would work had yet to be discussed, and stressed it would not replace the old National Merino Challenge.
"That's different," he said.
"But we feel like that year 9-11 age group is when everyone is deciding on the types of careers that they want to go into, is the perfect time to get them further involved."
Previously, a National Merino Challenge was open to years 11 and 12 and tertiary students, Australia-wide, but this competition is currently on hold, according to the AWI website.
In the meantime, the School Wether Competition has gone from strength to strength, with Qld, Tas and Vic coming on board in recent years.
SA - the founding state - is in its 14th year of competition, and had about 400 students from 39 schools compete at the Royal Adelaide Show last year, while NSW - the largest with up to 80 schools expressing interest - is in its 11th year, competing during the Dubbo National Show & Ram Sale.
WA has run the competition for eight years, with five schools participating at the Royal Perth Show.
Vic has 11 schools signed up for the first time this year, while Tas has 15 schools getting involved in its second year, and Qld expects to double its competitors, after six schools got involved for the first time last year.