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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2013-14
Teacher and Student Support -- AWI will promote the wool industry and its features to primary and secondary teachers (and their students) and provide support through participation in learning programs, resources/tools and professional development activities. AWI will support wool industry advocates seeking to learn more about their own and other industries, and share their knowledge through advisory panels, committees and marketing activities. Professional development for researchers, advisors, extension specialists and AWI network coordinators will continue through AWI-supported R&D updates and conferences focused on the role of wool sheep in a profitable enterprise mix. The National Merino Challenge aims to increase the skills, knowledge and capacity of young people in agriculture, and entering the wool industry through training sessions and demonstrations coupled with theoretical and practical challenges. It will support the increased capacity of teachers and lecturers in teaching the principles of Merino breeding and selection. AWI will also prepare briefings to demonstrate welfare credentials to protect market access and enhance the demand for wool through support for the National Wool Declaration and integration with AWI's Global Business Services. AWI will keep in touch with industry through forums and road shows, direct mail and a range of electronic media and e-learning. Support and develop leadership skills through Australian Rural Leadership Program (one annually), Nuffield Farming Scholarships (one annually) and Young Farming Champion initiatives (up to four annually). No ARLP position was awarded in 2013/14, so two places will be available, pending applications, in 2014/15. One Nuffield Farming Scholarship was awarded and this year four Young Farming Champions were chosen from a pool of applications. Distribute up to 300 Learn About Wool teachers kits each year. More than 300 kits were distributed this year, with demand consistently rising. The National Merino Challenge (NMC) will attract at least 60 participants each year and up to 25 trainers for the Train--the--Trainer Workshops. NMC in August 2013 attracted more than 60 registrations, and NMC in May 2014 attracted more than 90 registrations. Train-the-Trainer Workshops are on target, with two having been held so far, each with more than 20 attendees. Up to eight forums will be held each year to inform, update and keep in touch with industry. An increase in activity in this space is expected, with planning in progress for a number of initiatives in the coming year. Tim Gubbins of Moyston, Victoria was awarded AWI's 2013/14 Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study how to achieve the full potential of Merino sheep. AWI continues to support Lauren Crothers, who is studying at the University of Queensland, through the Horizon Scholarship program (a joint initiative of RDCs to support students studying agriculture), and this year has also started supporting Amy Carpenter, who is studying at the University of New England. Continued investment was made to the Young Farming Champions program, with Tom Tourle, Dubbo NSW; Patrick Morgan, Colbinabbin Vic; Emma Turner, Ivanhoe NSW; and Peta Bradley, Armatree NSW successful in gaining a place in this year's program. The National Merino Challenge (NMC) was held for the first time in Dubbo, NSW, in August 2013, with more than 60 young people from across Australia registered to attend. The project grew more than 50 per cent when held in Melbourne, Victoria, in May 2014, with more than 90 sheep and wool enthusiasts registered. The NMC's aims of allowing young people to engage with the industry by developing their knowledge, skills and networks is certainly being realised, with several participants sourcing employment and work experience in the field as a direct result of who they have met at NMC. The AWI Learn About Wool Kit proves to be ever more popular, with more than 600 kits now distributed to primary and secondary teachers around Australia, and orders continuing to flow in. More than 80 students from across Australia competed in the National Merino Challenge educational initiative that was held in Melbourne in May 2014. REPORT OF 2013/14 OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2014-15
AWI Annual Report 2012-13