New opportunity for young wool fans

Caitlin Heppner assesses a fleece during a junior judging competition.
Caitlin Heppner assesses a fleece during a junior judging competition.

Budding wool enthusiasts will have an opportunity to get a taste of the industry at this year’s Mount Pleasant Show.

Nuriootpa’s Caitlin Heppner – the 2017 National Merino Fleece Junior Judging Champion – has instigated a Merino Fleece Junior Judging Competition for the March 17 event and is encouraging young people interested in agriculture to step up and ‘have a go’.

“This is a fantastic way to learn about this fabulous fibre and also become involved in country shows,” Miss Heppner said.

“It’s also a great opportunity to learn and practice public speaking skills.”

Competitors will be asked to judge four fleeces and provide a brief explanation as to how and why they came to their final decision.

“We need more young people in our industry,” wool convenor Keith McGorman said.

“It is very rare to find someone like Caitlin who not only has the knowledge and skill in the wool industry, but wants to introduce other young people as well.

“She is a very passionate young person and I can’t wait to have her on board.”

Miss Heppner is hoping for a successful event in the lead up to the state and national finals which will be held at the Royal Adelaide Show later this year.

A number of prizes have been donated, including two free entries to the 2018 SA Sheep Expo to be held at the Wayville Showgrounds from April 18 to 20.

“I think it is fantastic that someone has asked us to be on board by sponsoring the inaugural competition at the Mount Pleasant Show this year,” SA Sheep Expo president Stephen Kellock said.

At last year’s Sheep Expo, Miss Heppner received a $1500 education bursary.

“Caitlin approached us and asked if she could use part of her bursary to send a couple of the winners to the expo,” Mr Kellock said.

“We are thrilled to have returned support from a previous entrant and hopefully the two successful winners can come away from our show with vast new knowledge, industry contacts, new friends and maybe even the same passion as Caitlin!”

Miss Heppner said her intention was to pass on her own knowledge and encourage young people to get involved in agriculture.

“I also want to give back to the show that provided me with the opportunity to be their Young Rural Ambassador.”

  • For more information, contact Caitlin Heppner on 0439 365 646 or email