WagyuEdge 2024



A tropical destination for WagyuEdge’24 – CAIRNS


Join us for an unforgettable experience at the annual International WagyuEdge Conference, hosted by the Australian Wagyu Association in the ‘gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef’ from the 10th to the 12th of April, 2024.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve chosen the stunning tropical destination of Cairns, QLD, as the backdrop for next year’s conference. Prepare to be captivated by the natural wonders and incredible charm this area has to offer! Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Cairns, with its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Explore the Great Barrier Reef, a true wonder of the world, and dive into a colourful marine paradise.

During the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with industry experts, listen to captivating speakers, and exchange knowledge with Wagyu enthusiasts from around the globe. Prepare for a diverse range of headline events that will continue to advance the Global Wagyu Industry!


Book your tickets now and save with our Early Bird deal. Registrations received and paid by Friday 1 March 2024, will save $150 per registration. See more details below.

What to expect

DAY ONE – 10 APRIL 2024 

(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.


(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

(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.


(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.


(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.


(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

(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.


(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.


(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!




Full conference package

Member – $1,320
Non-Member – $1,580

The Full conference package includes:

  • Three-days of conference talks and sessions
  • Catering during conference
  • Evening events:
    • Wagyu Branded Beef Competition Awards Dinner (10 April)
    • Elite Wagyu Sale and Cocktail event  (11 April)
    • Wagyu Industry Dinner (12 April)
  • Conference satchel & access to videos of each speakers presentation (video-on-demand)

Early bird discount – a $150 early bird discount applies to registrations received and paid by Friday 1 March 2024, reducing the registration fee to $1,170 for members and $1,430 for non-members.

Day registration

Member – $580 per day
Non-Member – $740 per day

Select the day you would like to attend. Please note, evening events are not included but can be purchased separately.

  • Conference sessions on the selected day
  • Catering on selected day
  • Conference satchel

Evening event tickets

Additional function tickets are available for partners, guests or day registrants.

Wagyu Branded Beef Competition Awards Dinner (10 April)
Member – $265
Non-Member – $315

Elite Wagyu Sale and Cocktail event  (11 April)
Member – $265
Non-Member – $315

Wagyu Industry Dinner (12 April)
Member – $315
Non-Member – $380

Individual and Group registrations

Register for the conference events as an individual or as part of a group. Select which option below best suits your circumstances.

If you use the Individual Registration, multiple people can be registered through this portal; however, your registrations will not be linked and will be invoiced separately.
Payment can be made at the time of registration using your Credit Card, or you can elect to pay later. We will send you an invoice.

Changes to delegate names can be made at any time after registering. If you do not know the name of every delegate you wish to attend the conference now but want to reserve/pay for registrations, please use a placeholder name such as ‘Delegate TBA1’, ‘Delegate TBA 2’. You will have the opportunity to update delegate names at a future date.

Please note that you must be a current member of the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) to be eligible for the Member Registration rates.

Sponsor or exhibitor registration

If you are a sponsor or exhibitor, you will be sent a separate link for registering your staff to attend the conference. If you do not have that link, please get in touch with Bradley Hayden.


Pullman Cairns International

Approx. two blocks from Cairns Convention Centre.

Phone 07 4050 2103
Email  [email protected]

Room rates start at $288 per night (room only) and are subject to conditions and availability.

Crystalbrook Flynn

An easy walk from Cairns Convention Centre. Rooms from $225.00 per room per night (room only) *

Book directly by emailing the hotel and quoting promo code “WAGYU”.

Full prepayment is required at the time of booking. Bookings are non-refundable.

* Corporate rate for a limited time only – normally $275 per room per night 

Crystalbrook Bailey 

An easy walk from Cairns Convention Centre. Rooms from $195.00 per room per night (room only) *

Book directly by emailing the hotel and quoting promo code “WAGYU”.

Full prepayment is required at the time of booking. Bookings are non-refundable.

* Corporate rate for a limited time only – normally $266 per room per night 

Park Regis

City Quays Hotel and Piermonde Apartments. Approx. 400 metres from Carins Convention Centre.

Park Regis City Quays
Executive Hotel Room – Rate: $309 per night/room only
Executive One Bedroom Apartment – Rate: $359 per night/room only/for 2 persons

Piermonde Apartments
Two Bedroom Apartment – Rate: $509 per night/room only/for 4 persons

To book, phone: 07 4042 6500 or email the hotel quoting AWA24 to receive the room rates (listed above).

Cancellation Policy

Conference cancellation 

Should you elect to cancel your registration, a full refund less a $200 cancellation fee per registration will be made on any cancellations received by Monday 25 March 2024. No refunds will be issued for any registration cancellations made after Monday 25 March 2024 although substitutions of delegates will be accepted. All cancellations must be made in writing to the conference coordinator.

Event cancellation

If circumstances beyond our control prevent the Conference being conducted as an ‘in person’ event it will be either postponed to a future date or cancelled outright. If it is postponed, you will have the option of transferring your registration to the future date. Should that date not suit you will receive a full refund. If the conference is cancelled outright, you will receive a full refund.


Every effort is made to ensure that the contents of this registration brochure are correct. The organisers retain the right to make changes where necessary. The Australian Wagyu Association and the conference coordinators, Countrywide Conference and Event Management, will not accept liability for any damages of any nature sustained by participants or their accompanying persons or loss or damage to their personal property for the duration of the conference and tour.

Session videos

Catch up on all WagyuEdge ’23 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.

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.