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School Merino Wethers Competition

Celebrating 11 Years of the School Merino Wethers Competition.

An initiative of Merino SA, the School Merino Wethers Competition was born out of the desire to engage more young people in the Merino industry, including those who may never had previous access to livestock.
The year was 2009. Mr Francis Andrews, then president of the SA Stud Merino Sheepbreeders’ Association, chaired a School & Resource subcommittee comprising Wes Daniell, Roger Fiebig, Carolyn Johnson, Ian Rowett, Ian Michael, Joe Dahlitz, Stephen Kellock and teacher Margy Whittlesea.
Together they created a proposal to the RA & HS Pastoral Committee, that a school competition for Merino wether ‘lambs’ be instigated at the earliest opportunity.
The concept was embraced by both the Society and the Agricultural Schools curriculum. In September 2011, fifteen schools presented 21 teams of 3 wethers. 
These fifteen schools have been regular participants since the first year: Booleroo, Bordertown, Burra, Cleve, Cummins, Faith, Gladstone, Karcultaby, Karoonda, Keith, Lucindale, Murray Bridge, Tintinara, Trinity and Urrbrae.
Ten years later, school numbers and entries have grown substantially. The 2020 competition was the biggest yet, with 70 teams entered from 37 schools.

John Daniell, President of Merino SA at the time of the first competition, recalls;
“We all had a major learning curve that first year, it was a lot of work, but fantastic to see the teamwork by the students.
We had visitors from interstate who were so impressed with what they saw they have since gone on to develop their own state        School Merino Wether program.
A photo of that first line-up in 2011 remains on display in the Merino SA office, it’s a great shot.”

The School Merino Wethers Competition generates interest far beyond the classroom. It is hoped students will be inspired to  forge pathways into the Merino industry and sincere thanks are extended to the studbreeders and industry supporters for their          continued engagement with the program.

2021 School Merino Wethers Competition

Congratulations to the 38 schools and more than 200 students who participated with their wethers at this year's School Merino Wethers Competition.
There were 70 teams of three wethers brought into the Stud Sheep Pavilion, which was held under strict covid protocols despite the cancellation of the Royal Adelaide Show. Many students were not able to attend due to limited numbers - we hope to see you all next year.
We extend our appreciation to everyone who was involved in helping this event come together throughout the year and on the day. 

 Summary Results of the 2021 Competition : Results 2021

Scores for Meat & Wool Combinations : Carcase & Wool Results


School Merino Wethers Competition Handbook

A new handbook will be released early in 2022.








School Merino Wethers Competition


2021 Competition Schedule

Planning for the Competition starts almost 12 months ahead, arranging a supply of wethers from a local Merino stud or commercial breeder. Wethers usually arrive at school in February/ March and are regulation tagged and shorn in March.  The following planner details some key elements to consider in the program: School Merino Wethers Competition Calendar 2021

A 2022 handbook will be provided to all interested schools in February. Please register your school interest with Merino SA if you have not competed in the competition in recent years.

 2021 Winners - Meningie Area School


2011 line up SA School Merino Wethers Competition

 2021 Class Handlers 

Australian Wool Innovation's media team captured the running of a School Merino Wether Competition. To see what the organisers and participants had to say, hop over to YouTube (external link):

  >>> YouTube video of a School Merino Wethers Competition - Royal Adelaide Show