THE Australian national meat judging team has backed up its triumphant campaign in Texas last
week and taken out the National Western Stock Show competition in Denver, Colorado – for the first time in 17 years.
“To beat the locals at their own game is an impressive accomplishment and one rarely before achieved by the Australian team” said head coach, Tim Ryan.
“This group of young and enthusiastic students trained hard over the past two weeks and they should be proud of their achievements”.
Along with top honours, the team will return home with trophies for highest team in placings, questions, pork judging and – well timed for Australia day – lamb judging.
“I am really grateful for the opportunity to represent Australia and the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association in such a prestigious competition” said Australian team member and overall individual champion, Bridie Luers.
“It has been really interesting learning the ins-and- outs of the American grading system and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know like-minded students over here in the US”.
The National Western Stock Show culminates the training and competitive component of a month long US industry tour. The team will now focus on visiting a broad cross section of the
US meat industry, including seedstock producers, ranchers, lotfeeders, universities, processors and retailers.
“On our tour around College Station, Texas, we visited Kallion Farms, a Brahman Stud recognised for their cattle docility and quality carcase traits. After working on large cattle stations in the Northern Territory, I believe the breeding objectives of Kallion Farms would benefit Northern cattle producers, resulting in a superior quality product,” said CSU student, Lachlan Woods.
“The highlight of my trip so far was visiting the 44 Farms Angus ranch,” said Jake Bourlet from CSU.
“Their facilities were world class and after learning of their young history, the sheer scale of the operation was mind blowing. I look forward to the remainder of the trip and furthering my knowledge of the American red meat industry.”
The US tour is coordinated by the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) which has been developing young leaders in industry since 1990.
Each year ICMJ runs a national meat judging competition and conference, in which 130 students from universities across Australia and its key export markets attend. ICMJ also coordinates a range of high school competitions and a development program from which it selects the Australian team.
ICMJ is principally funded by MLA and AMPC, along with industry contributions from a range of Australian companies.
“The ICMJ program each year injects young and enthusiastic students into the Australian meat industry,” said ICMJ President, Pete McGilchrist.
“I am excited to see where this intelligent and passionate group end up in our industry.”
The Australian meat judging team will travel across Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas over the next two weeks, visiting a range of companies in the US red meat industry.
Individual awards from the National Western Stock Show are as follows:
- Bridie Luers was overall individual champion and was highest individual in pork and beef
- judging and placings, and came third in beef grading.
- Emily Webb Ware came third overall and won lamb judging and overall questions.
- Lachlan Woods came seventh overall and fourth in placings.
- Harriet Moss came 13th overall and fifth in placings.
- Jake Bourlet came third highest individual in the alternates contest.