Entries are now open for the 2019 National Fleece Competition, the biggest benchmarking event of its kind in the country.
The competition is in its 19th year, and in the past 18 years, it has raised over $160,000 for national charities.
Last year, 251 fleeces from woolgrowers around the country who had entered the competition were auctioned at the Melbourne woolstores, and resulted in a record $18,500 donation for the Lyme Disease Association of Australia.
This year's nominated charity is the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO), a not-for-profit network of clinicians, researchers, consumer representatives and allied health professionals who are dedicated to increasing awareness and improving treatment and end-of-life care for patients with brain tumours.
Landmark Bendigo wool account manager and competition convener Candice Cordy said the charity was nominated by local farming families who had been passionate supporters of the fleece competition from the very beginning, including the Cochrane family, Axedale, and the Glen family, Wattlebank Merino stud, Guildford, who have both lost family members to brain cancer in the past 12 months.
Ms Cordy said the competition was a fantastic opportunity for woolgrowers to benchmark their fleeces against the best in the country, and also to receive full test results.
She said the competition had three objectives.
"The first is to conduct a commercial fleece competition utilising current technology to assist both the objective and subjective measurement criteria," she said.
"The second is to provide educational outcomes to competitors, woolgrowers and the industry at large.
"And the third is to conduct a competition that encompasses all main wool types."
She said the Merino Performance Class would again be a feature of the competition this year, catering to exhibitors who shear at six to eight-month intervals.
"The information contained in this section of the results catalogue is a fantastic resource for woolgrowers considering shearing their flock at more regular intervals," she said.
The Future of Farming, Ag Schools and Colleges awards will be conducted again, with the aim to encourage young industry participants to exhibit their fleeces.
The competition's total prize value is over $17,000, with the grand champion fleece exhibitor receiving a $2000 travel voucher.
Entries close on Friday, June 7, and the winner will be announced at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo, between July 19-21.