It's show time

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Roll-up, roll-up for all the fun and features of WA's premier agricultural event.

Ringmaster and new Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) president Hugh Harding said the IGA Perth Royal Show played a vital role in educating young people about agricultural products.

Mr Harding said the event also forged stronger relationships between the country and the city.

RAS councillor in charge of wool, Ken Walker, agreed.

"There's no better way for young people to learn about wool production than showing them a freshly shorn fleece right off the sheep's back," Mr Walker said.

Watching the final judging of the champion fleeces, on Monday, a group of school kids was able to feel the greasy Merino wool and get to know more about the raw product.

Nine-year-old Harry Williams, of Nedlands, said the white wool looked inviting to wear.

"I was feeling warmer just having a look at it," he said.

For Calingiri producers Bruce and Carol Edmonds, of Mannalea stud, it was a big thrill to hear that their fleece had been awarded top honours.

"It was our first supreme fleece," Bruce said.

"We hope lots of city children take a look at the wool display and tell their parents it is the best fibre in the world.

"More woollen clothes should be worn and appreciated."

Chief wool judge Tim Chapman said the fleece entries were up on last year with 215 put to the test.

"Overall selection was excellent, but there were signs of the dry summer," he said.

Tim said the supreme fleece, earlier judged grand champion ewe or wether fleece, had even crimp formation from the tip to the butt.

"It was very white, bright and soft with good length and bulk," he said.

The Edmonds family's fleece measured 19.1 microns and had a comfort factor of 99.9.

"The 8kg fleece had a yield of 76.5 per cent and was very sound at 44 Newtons per kilotex of strength," Tim said.

He said the judges awarded the Mannalea fleece 95 points out of 100, two points ahead of the fleece with the second highest score, also from the Edmonds' stud.

Mr Walker said the champion fleece competition was made possible through the overall participation of woolgrowers who should be congratulated for bringing wool to the city.

The Perth Royal Show will also include an Australian Wool Innovation fashion display so visitors can see the transformation from raw fleece to finished product.

The show starts on Saturday and children aged 12 and under will be admitted free with a parent or guardian.

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