A focus on nutrition and genetics helped Clare High School to a win in the Schools' Merino Wether Competition, finishing on top in the Australian Wool Network three most valued fleeces competition.
The fleeces, with a micron range of 15.9-17.2M, had a combined total value of $249.84, ahead of Meningie Area School team 2 at $ 246.81, and Waikerie High School team 1 at $ 243.15.
Clare High School agricultural teacher Lesley Squires said the win was "very exciting" for the team, who were all first-time attendees.
"When the kids talked to one of the wool people at the competition, it was said that the good fleeces were due to the genetics, but also to do with the feeding of the animals, so it was great to see the work through the year paying off," she said.
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The wethers came from local commercial farmer Andrew Mitchell, with the students selecting the stock themselves and looking after the wethers for six months in the lead up.
"The kids have mixed the feed each week, preparation has very much been student-led," Ms Squires said.
"But we know we couldn't run a program like this without good ground staff that are keen to help, and for that we're really grateful," Ms Squires said.
AWN's Jared Phillips judged the fleece competition, while Spence Dix & Co's Luke Schrieber judged the best pen of three wethers. Stud breeders Anthony Hurst and John Daniel judged the handler competition.
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