Poll Wagyu and Sunland Cattle Co big winners

AMPC National Beef Carcase Competition at Beef2024

The beef industry has recognised Australia’s best-quality carcases at Beef 2024, attracting the attention of some of the agriculture industry’s most high-profile figures and paying homage to the tireless work of graziers. The National Beef Carcase Competition Awards dinner celebrated highest-indexing Meat Standards Australia beef, which received 732 entries from across the country.

The big winners

Darren Hamblin, Poll Wagyu, Middlemount, won the Australian Meat Processor Corporation overall champion carcase award with an animal that recorded an MSA index of 72.37. Paul and Jennifer Harris, Sunland Cattle Co Pty Ltd, Ten Mile and Old Bombandy, Balcomba, were awarded the reserve champion carcase award with a beast that recorded an MSA index of 70.86.

Both Wagyu steers pens were processed at JBS Beef City, Toowoomba. JBS-owned Yambinya Station, Burraboi, NSW, won the highest-scoring pen of three steers from classes one to eight, with MSA indexes of 54.05, 54.42, and 51.79 in class six. AS & M Campbell & Son were awarded the reserve champion pen for a pen of steers processed at V & V Walsh, Bunbury, WA. Teys Australia feedlots general manager Grant Garey accepted the inaugural award for most successful processing plant, awarded to Teys’ facility at Wagga Wagga, NSW. Meanwhile, MSA research, development and integrity manager Janine Lau was awarded the inaugural Rob Barnard Memorial Trophy, which was presented by Michelle Barnard, the wife of the late Rob Barnard. Ms Lau was recognised for her tireless dedication to the Meat Standards Australia grading program, and the beef industry in general over more than two decades.

Celebrating 25 years of MSA 

Dignitaries included the Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, Deputy Opposition Leader Susan Key, and several other key politicians and industry heavyweights attended the Beef 2024 event. Mr Watt, who addressed the crowd, said the awards were the result of years of hard work and the industry as a whole investing in cattle from paddock to plate.

“That work is the result of a long process of our producers breeding and selecting cattle with the eating quality traits that we know consumers are prepared to pay a premium for,” he said.

“This is the result of processors investing in really well-trained personnel with an eye for detail and treating those cattle and the carcases in a way that maximises eating quality.”

Mr Watt said the celebration coincided with MSA’s 25th anniversary last year.

“According to MSA’s latest outcomes report, the program delivered a record $259 million in estimated additional farmgate returns to MSA beef producers in 2022-23,” he said.

“That’s a really well-earned result with over half of all adult cattle now being MSA graded.”

Australian Meat Processor Corporation chief executive Chris Taylor said the competition was a valuable platform to offer producers insights into the attributes of their beef carcases against market standards, the yield of prime meat and anticipated eating quality.

“The number of animals that have scored in the top five per cent in the MSA index has increased by nearly 255pc compared to when we were here three years ago at Beef 2021,” he said.



Story and picture by Bryce Eishold. First published in Queensland Country Life

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