Beef Australia took place May 5th to 11th 2024, and with a whirlwind week of networking, educational opportunities and research and development displays, who better to hear from then our 2024 Angus Foundation Beef Australia Scholarship recipients Brooke Barnes and Jasmin Ramage regarding their experience at the industry event.  

Each of the scholarship recipients have provided a report of their time at Beef Australia.  

Read them here: 

I had the opportunity to attend the Beef Australia event held in Rockhampton, Queensland this year, thanks to the Angus Australia – Beef Australia Scholarship. Beef Australia 2024 served as a premier event that attracted producers, processors, exporters, researchers, policymakers, and consumers from around the globe.  

The event (figure 1) featured exhibitions showcasing the latest products, technologies, and services related to beef production, processing, and marketing. Exhibitors included leading companies,

organizations, and industry bodies presenting innovations in genetics, equipment, feed, health products, and sustainability solutions. Beef Australia offered a variety of seminars, workshops, and panel discussions covering a diverse range of topics. Key themes presented included sustainable farming practices, market trends, technological advancements, animal welfare, and trade opportunities.  

The event hosted competitions which included cattle shows, auctions, and culinary contests, showcasing the finest breeds, genetics, and culinary talents in the beef industry. The competitions provided a platform for breeders, exhibitors, and chefs to demonstrate their skills and expertise.   

Additionally, the event facilitated an array of networking opportunities, including social events, and industry receptions, allowing delegates to connect with peers, experts, and potential business partners, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange.   

The Cattle Australia Breakfast seminar featured various speakers, with the Honourable Sir John Key (former New Zealand Prime Minister) delivering a presentation titled “On Being Influential” (figure 2). The presentation identified the power of leadership to drive change and shape outcomes, the significance of building trust and credibility to establish and maintain trust-based relationships, and strategies to navigate challenges and complexities. Sir John encouraged delegates to harness innovation by embracing innovations, leveraging technologies, and exploring new approaches.   

Finally, Sir John concluded by encouraging attendees to inspire action, utilizing their ability to effect positive change to drive sustainable growth within the beef industry.  

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam addressed common misconceptions and myths regarding biotechnology and genetic engineering in the beef industry. Her presentation highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between scientific advancements and consumer perception through transparent communication, education, and engagement initiatives to build trust and confidence among consumers.  

The seminar “The Compounding and Permanent Impact of Feed Efficiency and IVF” focused on the roles of feed efficiency and in vitro fertilization (IVF) in advancing sustainable beef production. The combined expertise of Dr. David Johnson, Dr. Matt McDonagh, Lisa Rumsfeld, and Geoff Birchnell ensured a thorough discussion covering the environmental, economic, and genetic aspects of these practices. The seminar highlighted the importance of innovative solutions and proactive strategies to address future challenges.  

The How We Are Securing Our Future Trade – Market Access” seminar provided insight into the strategies and policies required to secure and expand market access for the Australian beef industry. Discussions led by industry experts and policymakers highlighted the importance of understanding the current trade landscape, leveraging trade agreements, diversifying markets, addressing regulatory challenges, and identifying future opportunities for the beef industry. Key areas for growth included emerging markets, evolving consumer preferences towards premium and sustainable products, and technological advancements. The speakers identified proactive measures to adapt to these opportunities, including investment in market research, innovation, and sustainable practices.  

Award dinners celebrate achievements and contributions in the beef industry while featuring presentations from leaders and providing a platform for networking and idea-sharing. The Rabobank Beef Industry Awards Dinner was notable for Tracey Hayes’s courageous speech on the Federal Court’s ruling against the 2011 live cattle export ban to Indonesia. The event honoured individuals and organizations for innovation, sustainability, leadership, and community impact, highlighting the importance of acknowledging excellence in the industry.  

The Next Gen Forum featured keynote sessions with industry representatives, focusing on the future of the beef industry and how to best prepare for upcoming challenges. The evenings offered younger delegates opportunities to continue learning, networking, and unwinding at events such as the RB Sellars Hats n Heels and the Next Gen Cattalyst session. Anna Speer delivered a vulnerable and empowering presentation, offering career insights and advice. Three key takeaways included: it is alright to be unsure about your future career; there is no strict timeframe on your professional journey; and lastly, it is alright to change paths.  

One of the main things I loved about this event was seeing how the next generations are being included and supported in the livestock industry (figure 3). From the competitions to the seminars, and workshops, I genuinely enjoy witnessing the levels of education provided to the younger generations and the variety of events available for them to participate in. Providing continuous opportunities to emerging talents is vital. We must invest in our future leaders today to provide them with the strongest foundation possible to lead our industry in the future.  

In conclusion, Beef Australia provided an event full of knowledge exchange, business development, industry promotion, and community engagement. I want to thank Angus Australia for the Youth Program and for providing me with a scholarship to attend my first Beef Australia event. This event has been an invaluable experience, and I am grateful to Angus Australia for their continued support as I navigate my way through this industry. To any youth members, if you have an opportunity to partake in any Angus Australia events, I strongly urge you to apply. These events are amazing opportunities for you to gain different experiences, knowledge, and connections within the cattle and beef industry here in Australia. 

Rockhampton Beef Australia 2024 was a memorable event and one I am so grateful to have experienced. Between international seminars, symposiums, cattle competitions, trade exhibitions and next gen forums, Beef was an action-packed week. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, being my first time at Beef I wasn’t prepared for the magnitude of the event.   

I started off the week with stewarding the Angus judging, which was a great way to connect with the northern breeders and Angus members. It was a fantastic showcase of the breed with some great

Angus cattle on display. I found it a great opportunity to sit back during the cattle judging and listen to the comments passed on the larger Bos Indicus breeds from some of the world-renowned judges.   

 Following this in the days after I attended various seminars including the Angus Australia seminar, focussing on how Angus genetics complement various breeding operations and assist in genetic improvement, marketability, and profitability. It was particularly interesting to hear the use of Angus genetics in operations in northern QLD to improve herd productivity and profitability.  

 I attended the ‘Graeme Acton Beef Connections Lunch’ with the Angus team and got to listen to an inspiring group of young professionals within the beef industry. This program is an initiative of Beef Australia in memory of the late Graeme Acton. Each person is provided with a mentoring opportunity to support the individual’s leadership project to enhance Australia’s Beef Industry. It was a very inspiring presentation as a young ambitious industry member to listen to the projects.   

 There was a large area of new and innovative technology which is utilising the future of technology-based farming for improved efficiency. The various software programs and technology tools are all items of the future of farming in Australia and it was an eye opening experience to see just how many different types of technology have been developed.  

 I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend Beef 2024 and would like to thank the Angus Foundation for making this experience possible. The scholarship was a great opportunity to be able to attend Beef and network and develop relationships with beef industry leaders and producers. I highly recommend youth members to apply for this scholarship next Beef – you will have the best time! Attending Beef left me feeling very inspired as a young member of this evolving beef industry and excited for what the future of beef in Australia will be.   

Feature Image: Jasmin Ramage, Brooke Barnes and Angus Australia CEO, Scott Wright