AGM and Technical Workshop

November 2023

Wagyu industry sustainability, reproduction and new technologies

On 14 November, the Australian Wagyu Association held its Annual General Meeting and Technical Workshop in Brisbane, featuring discussions on sustainability, reproduction, and new technology in the Wagyu industry.

Industry experts such as Bobby Miller from Ruminati highlighted using the Ruminati App for farm carbon baselining, highlighting technology’s role in creating sustainability. Danny De Rosa from MEQ explored objective grading technology for live animal and carcass assessment, offering new quality assurance methods. Matt McDonagh updated everyone on Wagyu Feeder Check improvements and how it’s enhancing feeding program efficiency. Katie Dailey discussed AWA-PTP progeny performance, showing breeding progress, while Carel Teseling emphasised the need for maintaining genetic diversity for long-term sustainable breeding. To finish the day, Ced Wise compared Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Wagyu breeding, shedding light on breeder considerations and challenges.

Technical Workshop

Industry experts shared their insights, experiences and challenges. Presentations were recorded during the workshop and available to watch on-demand. The workshop covered the following topics:

Rumanati: Revolutionising Farm Emission Management for Sustainable Agriculture
Presented by
Bobby Miller, a distinguished beef producer from New South Wales, who took stage to present on Rumanati, an innovative carbon-baselining platform. Not only did he describe the challenges faced by farmers but also offered a solution for navigating the complex landscape of emissions measurement and reporting. Bobby stated that, the problem was that “even though all businesses in this environment have a greenhouse gas or an environmental footprint, farmers were being unfairly targeted and held to account for theirs”.



MEQ: Innovative Grading Technologies

Danny DeRosa, Research and Development Project Leader at MEQ, unveiled the revolutionary technologies they’ve designed to transform the beef industry and improve meat-eating quality measurement. MEQ was established in 2016 and since then, their vision has centred on delivering technology for objective meat quality measurement for the $700 billion global red meat industry. Danny emphasised their commitment to advancing red meat technology as they were inspired by the previous lack of consistent and actionable data in the industry.

“The red meat space is a $700 billion global industry with a clear absence of objective and actionable data.”



Dr Matt McDonagh: The Wagyu Feeder Check Tool

Matt McDonagh, CEO of the Australian Wagyu Association discussed the Wagyu Feeder Check Tool, designed to assess genetic variation in crossbred Wagyu cattle entering feed supply chains. It aims to identify unprofitable animals early on and, more recently, to spot high-performing animals for carcase weight and marbling, potentially reducing resource over-supply and improving sustainability.

Matt stated that, “Wagyu Feeder Check was developed by the Australian Wagyu Association in partnership with Neogen and the CSIRO. Its primary aim is to improve the resilience and sustainability of our Wagyu feeding sector.



Katie Dailey: Insights from the AWA’s Progeny
Test Program

Katie Dailey’s presentation provided a comprehensive update on the Progeny Test Program, now in its third breeding year. Katie outlined the progress, data collection, and notable achievements achieved by the program to date. She stated that the project that will span over 10 years, has seen substantial advancements with cohort one animals and data collection for 400-day weights in contributor herds is ongoing. Additionally, natural heifer joinings for new fertility measures for females, including days to calving EBV, are being finalised.



Ced Wise: Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Cattle Breeding

Ced Wise’s enlightening presentation on assisted reproductive technologies in cattle breeding, brought to light the history, challenges, and future prospects of these innovative techniques. He explained the fundamental aims of reproductive technologies, saying; “Basically, the whole system of assisted reproductive technologies is there for one reason and that is to increase the number of superior progeny from the one female. We all know a cow has one calf a year if you’re doing a great job, which gives it maybe eight, ten calves in a lifetime. These technologies allow us to increase that enormously – So you get 30 or 40, 50 calves in her lifetime.”



Carel Teseling: Genetic diversity and sustainable Breeding

Carel’s presentation delved into genetic diversity within Wagyu, emphasising its significance in maintaining a healthy and sustainable gene pool. He highlighted the potential implications of limited genetic diversity, touching on issues such as inbreeding depression, of variation in traits, and susceptibility to diseases. For example, once breeding animals are too closely related, you begin to see a decrease in genetic performance – especially in reproductive traits. This highlighted the complexity and importance of genetic diversity in Wagyu cattle and the need to make this knowledge accessible for breeders.

“The benefit of reducing inbreeding is that it reduces the expression of genetic conditions.”




2023 Program


Monday 13 November, 2 pm to 4 pm
14 Hume Drive,
Bundamba, Queensland

Tour Australia’s largest genomics facility, the Neogen Australasia lab at Ipswich in Queensland. Neogen Australasia has consolidated its genomics, food safety and animal safety services in one purpose-built location, which opened in September 2022.

You must RSVP to join this tour


Tuesday 14 November, 8 am to 9 am
17 Bluestone Circuit,
Seventeen Mile Rocks Queensland

The Brisbane-based laboratory brings accessibility to modern reproduction technology like never before to Australia’s eastern states’ beef herds. Vytelle’s hormone-free in vitro fertilisation process, including their proprietary media, will deliver high-quality embryos to producers, allowing them to make more valuable calves faster to maximise sustainability.

You must RSVP to join this tour

WORKSHOP (Sessions 1 and 2)

Tuesday 14 November
Brisbane Airport Convention Centre

SESSION ONE (10 am to 12.30 pm)

Farm carbon baselining using the Ruminati App
Bobby Miller, Ruminati

Objective technology for live and carcase grading
Danny De Rosa, MEQ

Wagyu Feeder Check updates and improvements
Matt McDonagh, AWA


SESSION TWO (1 pm to 3 pm)

AWA-PTP progeny performance outcomes
Katie Dailey, AWA

AWA genetic diversity measurements
Carel Teseling, AWA

Practical comparisons of MOET and IVF in Wagyu Breeding
Ced Wise, Ced Wise Artificial Breeding

Morning, afternoon tea and lunch to be served in the foyer during breaks



Tuesday 14 November, 3 pm
Brisbane Airport Convention Centre



Kindly sponsored by Rangers Valley
Tuesday 14 November, 6 pm
SkyLounge Terrace Ibis International

Important Notice and Disclaimer

It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.