A record 140 young sheep enthusiasts from SA, Vic and NSW converged on the Adelaide Showgrounds this week for the fourth annual SA Sheep Expo.
This year's education program had a strong technology component with lectures including virtual fencing, virtual reality and the use of eID.
Trent Oats, Sunbury, continued the tradition of Vic entrants winning the major prize- the award of excellence for the highest achiever in the senior age group.
It is also the fourth time the New Zealand study tour winner has been a University of Melbourne student.
Several new scholarships were awarded this year giving the lucky recipients valuable on-farm experience.
Ella Jones, Naracoorte, won the Merino SA scholarship, enabling her to have a week working at a SA Merino stud of her choice, while Codee Lieblich took out the Flinders Merino Learners Scholarship.
Expo chairman Brenton Lush said the Expo was a great success and was thrilled to have attracted an extra 50 participants this year.
"When the Expo was set up the sheep industry was very positive but the big question was who were the people that were going to take the industry forward," he said.
"We have an older workforce and it is much easier to sit on a tractor than drench sheep so the thought process was finding a way to encourage young people to stay in the sheep industry.
'In 10 to 20 years time these are the people that will be running the industry, we are just helping to build a good foundation for them."
A new initiative was an off-site visit for the senior entrants to Michell Wool's Salisbury mill which Mr Lush said had been well-received.
The 2020 SA Sheep Expo will be held from April 20 to 22.