Cleve Area School students prepare for Royal Adelaide Show

SHEEPWALKING: James Nield, Hugh Hammat, Taylah Haire, Britney Crosby, Chad Alcock, Courtney Grigg, Taylor Dolling and Riley Evans.
SHEEPWALKING: James Nield, Hugh Hammat, Taylah Haire, Britney Crosby, Chad Alcock, Courtney Grigg, Taylor Dolling and Riley Evans.

A line of Cleve Area School students walking merino wethers around town is not an uncommon sight at this time of the year.

The students are preparing to take their sheep to the annual Interschool Merino Wether Competition.

The competition has been a rite of passage at the school since its inception in 2011, with a year of work behind each entry.

Preparation for the annual competition begins immediately after the Royal Adelaide Show ends, with the school selecting 20 lambs from the Sims Farm stocks and Robert Norris's farm.

From then on, students get the opportunity for hands-on learning, weighing and condition scoring the sheep fortnightly and feeding them daily on a roster.

The exercise teaches them about sheep nutrition, ruminant digestion, sheep selection and sheep handling skills.

A line of school students walking their sheep around town has become a common sight during winter as the students get their stock used to keeping in line.

The competition is a joint project of the Royal Adelaide Show AH & F Society, Merino SA and the SA Agricultural Teachers Association and is this year's feature competition.

The Cleve Area School has always been highly placed, taking the win in 2016.

The school will take two teams of three sheep to be judged in Adelaide, with the competition held on September 4.

Agricultural teacher Aleks Suljagic said the competition was a community effort.

"I would like to thank Mr Robert Norris, the Sims Farm Operations Association Inc, Glenville proprietors Barry, Darryl and Klay Smith, our accommodation hosts Mike and Alison Garland in Adelaide and Paul Peters and his team for their shearing services."