Meningie goes back to back in Schools' Merino Wether Comp

Meningie goes back to back in Schools' Merino Wether Comp

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Meningie Area School have asserted themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Schools' Merino Wether Competition, taking out the overall award at Wednesday's event, for the second year running.

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Meningie Area School have asserted themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Schools' Merino Wether Competition, taking out the overall award at Wednesday's event, for the second year running.

Six Meningie students from grades seven and eight competed across two teams for the school, with their overall champion team raking in a first place in meat value, worth $861, and eighth place in the three most valued fleeces, worth $214.94.

The winning team comprised three wethers weighing between 84.5 kilograms and 117.5kg, with eye muscle depths ranging from 35 millimetres to 39mm and scanning 7.5-5.9mm of fat, while the fleece values ranged from $52.22 - $92.76.

Their second team were awarded second place in the three most valued fleeces, worth $246, and took out fourth place in the overall award.

Meningie also took out the Show Team Development Award, won by the school with the most gains accrued across the past three years and this year's competition.

This competition is now something everyone wants to be a part of, we have students as young as year 4 asking when they can get involved. - CAITLIN HATTAM

The school's agricultural teacher Caitlin Hattam said it was "really special" to win the competition two year's running.

"To come here and compete, and to be with such competition and see everyone else is incredible," she said.

"After our win last year, this competition is now something everyone wants to be a part of, we have students as young as year 4 asking when they can get involved."

Ms Hattam said it was particularly pleasing to be awarded the Show Team Development Award.

"Being recognised for that progression across a longer time period is a huge thing," she said.

Riverton & District High School also performed extremely well at the event, with their two teams coming in at second and third place overall.

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Riverton team 1 - which placed third overall - came sixth in best meat value ($810), while team 2, which placed second, coming fifth in the highest weight gain by a group of three, with the team of wethers having having gained 111 kilograms collectively since March.

Team 2 also placed fifth in best meat value ($819) and seventh in the three most valued fleeces ($220).

Other schools which performed well were Karcultaby Area School, which won the most professional show team award for the fourth time, with 48 points, ahead of Gladstone Area School at 45 points.

Faith Lutheran College, Tanunda won the highest weight gain, with 123.5kg collectively gained, just ahead of Bordertown Area School at 122kg.

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Clare High School took out the three most valued fleeces, at $249, while Lucindale Area School claimed the prize for the best pen of three wethers.

The cancellation of the Royal Adelaide Show has done little to quell the enthusiasm for the competition this year and last, with this year's event attracting 70 entries from across 38 schools, equating to 210 wethers - on par with the previous record, set last year..

Convenor Stephen Kellock, Kelvale, Keith, said it was a "fantastic" event, and was grateful for the support of the RAHS to allow the competition to proceed.

"Everyone had put the effort in up to when the show got cancelled, and when that cancellation happened we were hopeful that'd we'd still somehow be able to run the comp, and we're really thankful to the show society that we could do that," he said.

"We had a fantastic day, it was great to see so many kids energetically involved in the sheep industry."

Mr Kellock said the competition was getting tighter and tighter every year.

"Everyone is getting a lot better at presenting their sheep and feeding them well, there wasn't much difference between the winners and the rest of the crew," he said.

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