WagyuEdge 2024



A tropical destination for WagyuEdge’24 – CAIRNS


We were incredibly lucky to have spent three days in the breathtaking tropical destination of Cairns, Queensland, where the much-anticipated WagyuEdge ’24 conference took place in April. The event spanned three days and included informative sessions and entertainment, boasting an impressive attendance of over 650 people. 

During the conference, attendees were able to connect with industry experts, listen to captivating speakers, and share knowledge with Wagyu enthusiasts from around the globe. In the evening, we celebrated the industry by crowning the 2024 Wagyu Branded Beef Grand Champion and witnessing all the action at the 2024 Elite Wagyu Sale.

It was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to improve their understanding of the industry and network with like-minded individuals who share a passion for Wagyu beef.

Session videos

Catch up on all WagyuEdge sessions

The conference brings 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 across the globe hear from speakers with a high level of expertise in Wagyu production, genetics and marketing.

The WagyuEdge ’24 Conference sessions are available now to download or stream. 2024 delegates can access all session videos free of charge as part of their ticket. If you need help access the details to obtain a free copy of the videos, please contact the AWA team.

2024 WagyuEdge program

DAY ONE – 10 APRIL 2024 

11:00am to 1:00pm

(Member information session)
Find out what on new technology and services are available from the AWA.

This will include changes to DNA testing, database and member information accessibility, along with presentation of the Wagyu Breeder-Feeder Selection Index by AbacusBio.


2:00pm to 5:00pm
(Conference SESSION 1)

Session speakers include:  Tim Ault, Simon Quilty and Dave Harris

Reflecting on Wagyu’s position, this session will focus on the changing trade environment for Australian agricultural products and global trends in protein markets. AACo, the world’s largest Wagyu producer, will share its 200-year story and the position of Wagyu in the future.


(Evening event) 6 pm to 11 pm on the Esplanade.  Dress code: Semi-Formal

The first of three opportunities to celebrate the Wagyu industry during the WagyuEdge ’24 Conference. The pinnacle of Australian beef was assessed over two-days by a peer group of Australia’s top chefs and commentators in the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition.

Join us for the announcement of the winners across five classes showcasing the exceptional quality of Australia’s homegrown produce. 


DAY 2 – 11 APRIL 2024

8:30am to 10:00am
(Conference SESSION 2)

Session speakers include:  Troy Setter and David Foote

Wagyu has made a name for itself by transforming northern Australia’s cattle industry. Consolidated Pastoral Company, another large Australian cattle producer, will share how and why they introduced Wagyu into their operation. The Australian Wagyu industry has grown, with an estimated production value of $2 billion. Because of this, one of the driving forces behind Cattle Australia will discuss why the Wagyu Sector needs an industry-level representation as a strategic priority.


10:45am to 12:15pm

(Conference SESSION 3)

Session speakers include:  Dave Dreiling, John Hourigan and Richard Saunders

When Wagyu genetics were exported in the 1990s, a global Wagyu market was created, along with trade in Wagyu genetics and partnerships that now span the world. We will hear from AWA members in key markets worldwide to understand their industry and market dynamics.


1:00pm to 2:50pm
(Conference SESSION 4)

Session speakers include:  Dr Fran Cowley, Prof Richard Eckard and Bobby Miller

Carbon and methane are a natural part of ruminant grazing systems. We will hear from key policy, science and thought leaders on advances in methane mitigation technologies and how these may relate to Wagyu.


3:30pm to 5:00pm
(Conference SESSION 5)

The Wagyu Sector is at the forefront of technology adoption in all productivity and quality improvement aspects. This session will explore recent advances in artificial breeding technologies and new solutions for improving carcase prediction outcomes.


Live Auction – Elite Wagyu Sale & WagyuEdge cocktail evening
(Evening event) 6 pm to 11 pm at Hemingway’s Brewery. Dress code: Cocktail

Catch all the action live as the very best genetics in the Wagyu breed go under the hammer during the Elite Wagyu Sale. If you do not wish to watch the sale, relax in the brewery garden over a drink with live music.

DAY 3 – 12 APRIL 2024

8:30am to 9:45am

(Conference SESSION 6)

Session speakers include:  Gerard Hickey, Fearn Cholerton

Wagyu is a globally exported luxury food product but is subject to market volatility, as seen through the post-COVID boom and cost of living squeeze. Leading global Wagyu brands share their insights and stories on developing and maintaining product demand with a long-term focus.


10:30am to 12:15pm
(Conference SESSION 7)

Session speakers include:  Doug McNichol, Maeve Webster and Angus Gidley-Baird

As the world’s largest exporter of Wagyu beef, what is the perception of the Australian product in key overseas markets? The AWA has invested with MLA to understand consumer perceptions in key US Wagyu markets. In this session, we’ll also hear about global beef herd changes and how this impacts the Australian Wagyu market.


1:15pm to 3:00pm

(Conference SESSION 8)

Session speakers include:  Jessie Chiconi, Jack Sher and Reid Smith 

The future is in good hands. In this session, we will hear from some of our future leaders, who have each trodden a different path in their Wagyu career. Their visions of the future of our Sector provide insights into the next generation of Wagyu leaders.


Wagyu Industry Dinner 
(Evening event) 5.30 pm to 11 pm at Cairns Convention Centre.  Dress code: Black Tie

A night of celebration as we come together for a not to be missed four-course dinner prepared by the Executive Chef, at Cairns Convention Centre.

The dinner features special Wagyu cuts supplied by the 2023 Wagyu Branded Beef Grand Champion, Kilcoy Global Foods and 2023 Purebred Wagyu Class Champion, Jacks Creek.



Throughout the conference, you can expect to meet industry professionals, researchers, Wagyu breeders, producers, and other enthusiasts.

The event provides an excellent platform to learn from experts, gain insights into the Wagyu beef sector, explore new business opportunities, and foster connections within the Wagyu community.

Whether you’re a breeder, producer, or simply a Wagyu lover, this event is not to be missed, so mark your calendars and get ready for an extraordinary experience in Cairns!



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.