Beef Australia 2018 Inspires Scholarship Winners

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Beef Australia 2018 welcomed more than 100,368 Visitors, 1,200 registered international delegates from 42 countries, more than 5000 head of cattle, 530 trade fair exhibitors and 3 very talented and inspirational Angus Youth members Jack Laurie, Laura Wishart and Emily Webb Ware through its gates at the 2018 event.

Laura Wishart

As one of three fortunate Angus Youth granted a scholarship to attend Beef 2018, I was determined to make the most of it. A first timer to the industry bonanza, I was quick to learn that the difficulty does not lie in making the most of it; it lies in knowing which of the many seminars, trade stands, shows and networking events to prioritise! The sheer size of Beef 2018 and the variety of industry sub-sectors represented a fantastic opportunity to develop my knowledge and understanding of a number topics relating to Australia’s beef industry and grow my network of contacts.

The week started with a bang when I was exposed to the much-discussed Smokin’ Yak slow-cooked Brahman hump. It was delicious, as I am sure anyone who tried it would attest, but what really excited me about this concept was what it represented. That is, the increased returns each stakeholder in the beef supply chain could collect if we are able to value-add more of these traditional secondary cuts. I think this is especially true in a market in which sustainability is becoming more of a discussion point and cultural diversity and culinary experimentation have become the norm.

This theme of positivity and innovation continued throughout the week. I attended a number of seminars covering topics such as improving animal performance and efficiencies on-farm, the future of the live export industry, consumer trends, global markets and carcase measurement technology. I came away from each of these with a better appreciation of the complexity of the beef industry and the amount of effort, passion and commitment that makes it what it is.

Additionally, the amount of understanding that could be garnered simply by exploring the trade stands and having a chat (whether it be at the stalls, in line for food or at designated networking events) was significant. It is my belief that harnessing this breadth of knowledge and perspectives through collaboration will be key in pushing the industry forward.

Towards the end of the week, on the morning of Thursday May 10th, we scholars had the responsibility stewarding while a number of Angus studs showed their cattle. This was a particularly interesting experience for me. Prior to this, I had never been involved in a cattle-showing event (although I have been involved at the other end of the spectrum in carcase/meat judging). I am amazed by the enormous investment of time, money and effort that the studs made to get their cattle to Rockhampton for Beef 2018 and show-ready.

Finally, I feel that I would be wrong not to mention are my fellow scholars, Jack Laurie and Emily Webb-Ware. Between traipsing between trade stands, spending hours in seminars and making introductions to many respected industry people and supporters of the Angus program, we came to know each other quite well. It was a pleasure to accompany such high-calibre individuals and I can confidently say that they are destined to contribute a lot to Australian agriculture.

Beef 2018, what a fantastic experience. Thank you and to Angus Australia and Angus Youth for the granting me the opportunity to attend. It looks like our industry has an exciting future ahead and I cannot wait to be part of it.

Emily Webb Ware

This May I was lucky enough to fly to Rockhampton to attend Beef Australia 2018. As a born and bred Victorian, with very little experience in Northern beef systems, I was excited to explore a different perspective on the beef industries within Australia.

We arrived into Rockhampton on the Sunday, and as soon as I stepped off the plane I immediately knew I was in for an interesting week. The weather and vegetation was very different from everything I am used to, and the fact that every second person was wearing their akubra and RMs told me it was going to be an awesome time!

On the Monday morning I was booked in to attend the ‘Stockmanship and why it matters’ workshop, held in Nerimbera. Dr Ron Gill from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension shared his expertise in livestock handling and animal welfare, and gave a practical demonstration of the principles of low-stress stock handling in action.

Objective measurement and value-based marketing was a topic frequently mentioned through the week. As part of the Stockmanship tour we also heard from Chloe Gould about the new DEXA technology being trialled by Teys’ Australia, which will provide producers with better feedback on their carcases. I also visited the Teys’ tent at the showgrounds for some of their producer information sessions on carcase feedback, objective measurement and animal health.

I was also really keen get involved in the program run by Meat and Livestock Australia. One of these events was MLA’s ‘’Fostering beef’s prosperity; Fork to Farm’ seminar, which focussed on the beef industry’s path to prosperity, in terms of consumer trends and high value opportunities, as well as innovations through the supply chain, and what it all means for Australian beef producers.

A big highlight was the full day property tour to Belmont research station. This property works closely with CQ University’s Precision Livestock Management team to facilitate research and development of technologies for livestock production in Northern Australia. We were able to see new technologies, including the walk-over-weighing system and new models of livestock smart sensors, in action. Many of the projects that we learned about taking place at Belmont were incredibly innovative and have to potential to change the way we farm; I look forward to hearing more about these technologies as they continue to be developed and refined for commercial use. Through the tour we also toured the nearby Beef Breeding Services laboratory to see their artificial reproduction capabilities.

On the Thursday Laura, Jack and I helped steward the Angus Cattle Competition. This was an awesome chance to learn a bit more about cattle judging (and handling), and to see some fantastic cattle on display.

A significant part of the Beef Australia program was the NH Foods Next Generation program, which involved a number of events aimed at young beef leaders between 18-35 years. Part of this program was the Young Beef Meet and Mix (including the young farmers challenge), and the Next Generation Forum, which brought together a number of inspiring and innovative people who spoke about how they established their own businesses and worked towards success. It also introduced the Graeme Acton Beef Connections program, which I hope to be more involved in this program in the future, and would encourage any young people interested in the beef industry to look into it ahead of the next Beef Australia.

On top of the packed program, we also found time to take a look around the cattle pavilions and trade stands. As this is my last year of study, I was able to gain contacts that have opened up a number of opportunities for me for next year.

I am extremely grateful to Angus Australia and the Queensland State Committee for the opportunity to go to Beef Australia. The experience has been valuable beyond measure for my career in the beef industry, and I left Rockhampton feeling inspired and truly optimistic about the future of the beef industry in Australia.

Jack Laurie

I was fortunate enough to be one of the three recipients of the 2018 Angus Foundation Beef Australia Scholarships offered by Angus Australia and supported by the Angus Queensland State Committee.

This gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Rockhampton for the Australian Beef Week. Simply a week where everything is all about Australian Beef.

Whilst in Rockhampton we were able to talk and connect with people from various parts of the beef industry that took our interest and liking.

I was able to talk to Robert Whitacre from ST Genetics, America, about how they run their operations in vast numbers producing semen for bulls that are used all around the globe in both dairy and beef cattle.

We had discussions on a variety of Angus bulls that they have available and what genetics are working well in the American environment.

As a young member talking to other more established breeders gave me more of an insight into larger programs not only in Stud Angus but in regard to a commercial focus as well.

Throughout the events we were able to attend various industry talks and functions. MLA and MSA hosted numerous talks on new technology and as well as the benefits of the MSA index value.

I was fortunate to be able attend the Beef Connection dinner. This included connecting with like-minded people within the Agricultural industry, both cattle breeders and industry experts.

Whilst I was at Rockhampton I was lucky enough to be asked to judge the 12 Years and under age group for Beef Cattle Paraders. It was an honour and privilege to stand in the middle ring and be exposed to such a great opportunity.

Without the support of Angus Australia and the Queensland State Committee I would not have had the opportunity to increase my knowledge and contacts from attending the 2018 Rockhampton Beef Week.

I cannot thank them enough for allowing me they opportunity to be able to broaden my horizon within the Australian Beef Industry. Travelling to Rockhampton was an outstanding way to connect with other beef enthusiasts from around the globe.

It was a valuable learning experience and it was all possible due to the generosity and dedication of Angus Australia and the Queensland State Committee.