SIGNIFICANT efficiencies in beef production are up for grabs by matching management practices to cattle’s optimum endpoints, according to this year’s Young Lot Feeder Achievement Award recipient Emily Pollock.
Ms Pollock, from Mort and Co’s Gunnee Feedlot at Delungra in Northern NSW, collected the prestigious award, sponsored by Performance Feeds, at this week’s BeefEx feedlot conference on the Gold Coast.
She gave a comprehensive presentation about what she sees as the enormous value to be had throughout the red meat supply chain of mandatory grading systems based on yield and objective measurements.
Carcase grading would become more transparent, accurate and efficient with the implementation of advanced technologies, she said.
Processors would benefit from more carcases meeting specifications and ‘the more confidence processors have in our product the more likely they are to purchase at premium prices’, she said.
Customer satisfaction and confidence would also increase as graded traits become closer to actual traits.
“Cost efficiencies created across the supply chain will also be able to be passed on, driving consumer demand,” Ms Pollock said.
“Breeders and backgrounders will benefit from premiums for pre-sorting and the national herd will improve as genetic selection focuses on improving performance and profits.”
The Young Lot Feeder award is designed to both recognise and develop future leaders in the feedlot game and a long list of former winners who have gone on to impressive careers were brought up on stage ahead of the presentation of the 2016 award.
Entrants are asked to provide a solution to a current industry problem.
Ms Pollock said while Meat Standards Australia was leading the way globally as a voluntary eating quality system, the shortfall was true red meat yield was not taken into account.
Mandatory grading systems based on yield and objective measurements would allow for feedlot management practices to change so animals could be marketed on a more individual basis allowing for improvement in efficiencies of beef production, she said.
As objective data collection becomes more widely spread, information would be able to be shared across the supply chain and readily used as sorting criteria.
“The goal of sorting will be to group cattle to reach targeted finished endpoints at optimum times in relation to carcase yield, specifications and quality,” Ms Pollock said.
“I would encourage the feedlot industry to get involved.
“Assist in the development of these technologies. Take on early adoption.
“In doing so, we will be primed to take full advantage of improved grading.”
The other two finalists for the 2016 award were Jeff Schuller, assistant manager of Coonamble Feedlot and Amanda Moohan, Camm Ag Group and founder of the Women of Lotfeeding Group.
Zoetis Education Medal
A 22-year-old who has already put time in as a livestock supervisor at a feedlot has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Zoetis Education Medal.
The award recognises young feedlot workers and their enthusiasm and commitment to the industry.
Cailin O’Connor works for Andrew and Tess Herbert at their southern NSW Gundamain feedlot, Eugowra.
She joined the livestock team at Gundamain in April 2015 and is passionate about lot feeding cattle and horses.
She has now completed her certificate three in feedlot operations – pen riding through New England TAFE, which she says expanded her knowledge and allowed her to develop a broader understanding of the feedlot industry.
Zoetis business manager feedlot Andrew Malloy said Ms O’Connor had recently fulfilled the role of livestock supervisor at Gundamain while the permanent supervisor was traveling in the US, a significant challenge for young person.
“She is very passionate about animal performance and welfare in the feedlot and we are convinced she has bright future in the industry,” he said.
For her part, Ms O’Connor said the supportive community that made up the feedlot industry made it a wonderful sector to work in.
“They all help each other and it offers so much for a young person looking for a career,” she said.
Brendan Orr, from Grassdale Feedlot, near Dalby in Queensland, was runner up.
Mr Orr has been with Grassdale since 2012 and he too has now completed his certification three in feedlot operations – feeding and milling through New England TAFE.
He has recently been promoted to the role of feed and milling co-ordinator.
Mr Malloy said he had a strong work ethic and was committed to developing his career in the feedlot industry.
“At Grassdale, he is considered a highly valued employee. He is very passionate and has keen eye for attention to detail specifically in the areas of feeding and loader accuracy and continues to develop his staff management skills,” Mr Malloy said.
Meanwhile, the Coopers Animal Health award for excellence in HGP inplant technique at induction was collected by the Herbert family’s Gundamain feedlot in southern NSW.