Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.
The students are determined to use it in their projects when they go into the workforce.
The NZ Campaign for Wool arranged for the nine students to visit Ngamatea Station, near Taihape, where they spent time with wool experts. They also got around the station to get an understanding of the wool production cycle.
The station runs 40,000 sheep and produces 180,000kg of strong wool every year.
Gaylene Hoskings, who arranged the trip, says some of the students had farming backgrounds, others had none.
One objective was to make the students advocates for wool and to encourage their colleagues to specify wool in design projects. She succeeded.
Comments from the students included:
- "I didn't realise how aesthetically versatile it is. There are so many scientific reasons why wool works so well but at its core it is simply a beautiful thing.
- "It fascinates me that wool protects a living animal but plant fibres don't; this is why it works so well to protect us in our built environments.
- "The fact that wool absorbs and neutralises harmful volatile organic compounds is so interesting. Especially when synthetics are advertising low VOC levels and we have a fibre that actually neutralises them."
Last year, the Campaign for Wool promoted the product to school children.