WagyuEdge23 Conference and Tour Program

19 April - 24 April 2023 | Sydney

Program highlights

The Wagyu sector’s annual conference and tour is the largest conference on the beef industry calendar. Organised by the Australian Wagyu Association, it attracts between 400 and 600 attendees annually.

The annual WagyuEdge Conference and Tour is a mecca for the global Wagyu industry.  The AWA now has more than 200 international members. Each year, a large contingent of international Wagyu breeders and supply chain representatives attend the conference, like the Wagyu sector’s leading global event.

The conference is an opportunity to bring together all components of the Wagyu sector in a forum of learning and networking to help our industry to advance Wagyu – the World’s Luxury Beef.  The Australian Wagyu sector is the leading producer and exporter of Wagyu to international high-end markets. Delegates from Australia can attend to hear speakers with a high level of expertise covering topics in Wagyu production, genetics and marketing.

Note: The WagyuEdge23 program is subject to change.

Conference Program

DAY ONE – Wednesday 19th April

Registration desk opens 10am

12:00pm       LUNCH

CONFERENCE OPENING: Mr Charlie Perry, AWA President

SESSION 1: Tackling Challenges Head On
1:15pm to 2:45pm

1:15pm         Why meat is good for you and the planet
                       Diana Rodgers – Dietitian, Author, Filmmaker & Executive Director at Global Food Justine Alliance
2:00pm        Challenges facing red meat production
                       Professor Paul Wood AO FTSE – Adjunct Professor, Monash University

2:45pm        AFTERNOON TEA

SESSION 2: Wagyu Sector Technology Development
3:15pm to 4:30pm

3:15pm          New crossbred wagyu prediction tool
                        Toni Reverter – CSIRO
Jason Lillie – Neogen
4:10pm          Wagyu Fellowship: Calf Survival
                         Lachy Gilmore – Irongate Wagyu

4:30pm          END OF DAY ONE SESSIONS


Time    6:00pm – 11:00pm
Venue  Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf
Dress code  Semi-formal
Entertainment  Charlie Fittler 

The function includes dinner, drinks and entertainment featuring the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition.

DAY TWO – Thursday 20th April

Registration desk opens 7.30 am

SESSION 3: Wagyu and Global Market Trends
8.30am to 10.15am

8:30am         Global Trends in Agriculture and Luxury Proteins
                        Liz O’Leary – Executive Director; Head of Agriculture and Natural Assets, Macquarie Asset Management
9:15am          Harmony Agriculture Strategy and Direction
                       Mark Harris – Sales Manager, Stanbroke Beef
9:45am         Global Market Place post COVID: Insights, Trends & Opportunities
                        Scott Cameron – Group Industry Insights and Strategy Manager, Meat and Livestock Australia

10:15am        MORNING TEA

SESSION 2: Technology application in the field
11.00am to 12.40pm

11:00am        Optimising Reproduction: Measuring the Value of Integrating Fixed Time Artificial Insemination into Heifer Mating Programs and Systematic Premating BVD Control Strategies and A New Potential Novel Resynchrony Methodology
                         Enoch Bergman – Director/Veterinarian, Swan Vets
11:50am        Addressing the Triple Challenge through genetic selection for feed efficiency
                         Kerryann Kocher – Chief Operating Officer, Vytelle

12:20pm         LUNCH

SESSION 3: Facing the challenges of tomorrow
1.25pm to 2:50pm

1:25pm           Dairy and Wagyu our future will only get closer with time
                          Dr David Nation – Managing Director, Dairy Australia
1:55pm           Getting up to speed and using all AWA’s tools
                          Mick Bavea – Woodland Wagyu
2:20pm           Does Cow Size Matter in Cow-Calf Production Systems
                          Dr Kenneth Olson – Professor/Extension Beef Specialist, South Dakota State University, West River Research and Extension Center

2:50pm            AFTERNOON TEA

SESSION 4: Opportunities for Wagyu in a carbon future
3:45pm to 5:30pm

3:45pm            Harnessing carbon opportunities in the Wagyu supply chain
                           Dr Stephen Wiedemann – Principal Research Scientist, Integrity Ag & Environment
4:10pm             Climate is better on Beef
                           Frank Mitloehner – Professor and Air Quality Specialist, Director, UC Davis CLEAR Center
4:35pm            Carbon Farming for Carbon Trade. A summary of what is available now and into the future
                           Louisa Keeley – Director, Carbon Farmers of Australia Pty Ltd
5:00pm            INDUSTRY PANEL: Wagyu Carbon Neutral 2025

5:30pm            END OF DAY ONE SESSIONS


Time    6:00pm – 10:00pm
Venue  The Pullman Albert Park (Ballroom)
Dress code  Semi-formal/cocktail
Entertainment  Charlie Fittler 

The function includes dinner, drinks and entertainment featuring the AWA Elite Wagyu Sale.

DAY THREE – Thursday 28 April

Registration desk opens 8.30 am

SESSION 5: The international Wagyu sector perspective
9:00am to 10.45am

9:00am           Canadian based Wagyu herd – Wagyu Sekai
                          Ken Kurosawatsu – Wagyu Sekai
9:40am           Wagyu production in New Zealand: Perspectives from Brownrigg Agriculture
Sam Harburg – Consultant, AbacusBio
10:15am          The Wyndford Way – Innovation, Excellence and Perfection
                          Jess Edwards – Wyndford Wagyu

10:45am          MORNING TEA

SESSION 6: Current research in Wagyu – new traits and research Directions
11:30am to 1:00pm

11:30am           Wagyu Meat Quality Traits
                           Dr Simone Rochfort – Research Leader Molecular Phenomics, Agriculture Victoria and School of Applied Systems Biology, La Trobe University
12:05pm          Nutrition and production of Wagyu in Japan
                           Dr Keisuke Sasaki – Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan
12:40pm          Australian wagyu reference population and its importance for genomic selection
                           Dr Kirsty Moore – Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit

1:15pm              LUNCH

SESSION 7: Current research in Wagyu – commercial application of R&D
2:15pm to 4:00pm

2:15pm              The Australian flavour story for Wagyu Beef
                            A/Prof Heather Smyth – Principal Research Fellow, QAAFI, The University of Queensland
2:50pm             Ensuring eating quality consistency through Meat Standards Australia
                            Dr David Packer – MSA Program Manager, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
3:25pm              MIJ technology past, present and future
                            Aaron Van den Heuvel – Carcase Camera Technician, AWA

4:00pm             CONFERENCE CLOSE


Time    5:00pm – 11.30pm
Venue  The Pullman Albert Park (Ballroom)
Dress code Formal

The dinner includes a three-course dinner, drinks and entertainment plus the announcement of the 2022 Wagyu Branded Beef Awards

2022 Tour Program


Winding our way through the ranges of North Eastern Victoria, the post-conference tour will visit three impressive farms –  The Falls Pastoral and Stone Axe’s, Cobungra Station and Yulong Investments and nearby wineries including Mitchelton Wines.

Leaving early morning (Friday, 29 April) from The Pullman Melbourne, Albert Park, the tour will conclude approx. 5 pm at Tullamarine Airport Melbourne on Sunday 1 May.


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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.