For the first time, the RNA Paddock to Palate has introduced the 330-day Wagyu Challenge as part of the competition.
And it was vertically integrated family company, Stanbroke Beef, Grantham who were placed first in the 330-day weight gain section with a daily weight gain of 1.37kg average daily gain with its F1 steers.
These steers were also named the the highest individual weight gain of 1.57kg average daily gain. Stanbroke Beef markets both the Diamantina and Sanchoku premium Wagyu labels.
Richard and Dyan Hughes, Wentworth, Clermont were placed second for the F2 steers with an average daily weight gain of 1.23kg average daily gain.
Their son, Bristow Hughes, Strathalbyn, near Collinsville was placed in third position for a pen of Brahman F1 steers with an average daily gain of 1.17kg.
The Hughes family have been breeding Wagyu for more than 20 years and sourced their genetics from Marlborough breeder, Wally Rea, The Overflow.
“We are very pleased with the performance of our cattle in first phase of the competition,” Mrs Hughes said.
The challenge features 100 head of Waygu infused cattle and is a four-phased competition. It comprises best aggregate weight gain, a carcase competition, carcase value and finishing in a beef taste off.
Chairman of the Competition Committee of the Australian Wagyu Association, Ron Fitzgerald (pictured above), Salisbury Wagyu, Jondaryan said he was very happy with the concept of the Paddock to Palate competition.
“It allows Wagyu breeders to benchmark their cattle and demonstrate their own skill in breeding and selecting animals that will grow, marble and taste at target levels for premium value carcases.
“We are looking forward to seeing how the rest of the competition pans out,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
The competition gives Wagyu producers the chance to stake their claim on more than $10,000 in prize money. It is the only competition of its kind in the country and is for Wagyu and Wagyu-cross cattle with a minimum 50 per cent of Wagyu blood.