The 2016 Wagyu National Conference, themed THE WAGYU REVOLUTION, will reveal exciting developments as the breed continues to grow and consolidate its place as a major segment of the Australian beef cattle industry.
The venue is the spectacular Crowne Plaza resort near Pokolbin in the NSW Hunter Valley, 64 kms west of Newcastle Airport.
The conference is now an autumn event and will run from May 2 to 4 with a post conference tour on May 5 and 6 following the great success of the 2015 Queensland tour.
Some of the 2016 conference highlights…..
In a conference coup, the world’s leading researcher on the ‘healthiness’ of marbled Wagyu beef, Dr Stephen Smith of Texas A & M, will present his latest findings which indicate Wagyu beef contains extraordinary amounts of monounsaturated ‘healthy’ oleic acid and this increases with marbling and days on feed. This is a ‘not to be missed’ presentation of interest to the whole Wagyu supply chain.
As an added bonus an afternoon session has been added on Monday May 2, commencing at 2 pm, to cover issues critical to the efficient and profitable breeding of Wagyu cattle. This will cover the Wagyu specific MateSel genetic selection system, how to prepare and submit recording data and the prevention and treatment of scours to save valuable calves. Efficient on-farm data collection and how the collection and testing of DNA samples is conducted at UQ. This bonus session is of use to the whole range of Wagyu producers from those considering joining the Wagyu industry, those new to the industry and even to those more experienced operators. Arrive early, attend this session and then move on to the welcoming cocktail party. A great way to start the conference.
The traditional welcoming cocktail party is on Monday evening May 2 commencing at 6 pm. The conference proper starts at 8:30 am on Tuesday May 3.
The place of high quality beef in Australia’s beef industry will be discussed by MLA’s managing director Richard Norton.
Many on the 2015 Queensland tour said they would like to hear more from Darren Hamblin from Middlemount about his unique recording system, his cross breeding program and the way he deals with horns.
Tasmania’s Robbins Island Wagyu herd holds a fascination through its unique management practices. The new generation at Robbins Island, Alex Hammond, will explain how it operates, their moves to genetically remove horns and the progress of a new Wagyu beef brand.
The Wagyu Association has been active in putting a strong case for the new AUSMEAT language to better describe and identify Wagyu in the production chain and to have access to AUSMEAT’s Wagyu data to assist in breed improvement. Alex Ball from the MLA will explain the latest developments.
The Wagyu Association’s CEO Graham Truscott and Technical Services Manager Carel Teseling will share a presentation on technical advancements resulting in the number of Wagyu animals carrying marbling and marbling fineness EBVs jumping from around 7000 to a staggering 78,000 plus. How does this affect genetic selection?
The Wagyu breed is experiencing extraordinary demand for Wagyu bulls and members need to become efficient producers of quality bulls. To explain what it takes to breed, prepare and market bulls will be leading Hereford bull breeder Marc Greening of Injemira Beef Genetics, Book Book, NSW. At his 2016 on-property sale, Marc sold 91 bulls for $876,500 with a top of $110,000. His Poll Hereford bulls averaged $9933 and the Herefeord bulls $6899. This has been one of the best results for any breed in 2016.
There is no doubt AuctionsPlus is made for Wagyu. The breed has become an industry talking point over since mid-2105 when Wagyu and Wagyu cross cattle started selling for up to $6/kg live on AuctionsPlus. CEO Anna Speer will explain how Wagyu is such a neat fit with this online selling system and why AuctionsPlus chose to run a Wagyu specific sale.
At this session featuring AWA’s Carel Teseling and Kerwee Feedlot’s Steve Martin will explain this latest performance testing innovation for Wagyu and the first time a commercial feedlot has conducted Net Feed Efficiency trials. The program will identify Wagyu sires of high genetic merit and the many other benefits will be revealed for Wagyu breeders who enter progeny of sires. A session for those serious breeders who want to fast track genetic improvement with financial rewards for those with the highest performing sires.
Some cattle producers eventually reach a breed switch point and this fourth generation cattle producer, Steve Binnie, has made his switch – to Wagyu. He will explain why and how he has increased numbers from a handful of Wagyu in 2015 to over 1000 Wagyu calves on the ground in 2016.
Victorian couple Nick and Vicki Sher of Sher Wagyu, Ballan, have been in Wagyu since 1991 and were awarded life membership of the Australian Wagyu Association in 2015. They’ve seen the ups and downs of the industry and have built their business to the stage where they are exporting Sher Wagyu to 14 countries. They will explain how to develop and manage a family run paddock to plate business.
A successful partnership between Wagyu genetics and the feedlot industry is critical to the production of healthy beef with high eating quality. A Q&A session, so successful at the 2015 conference, will be on again this time with moderator Chantal Winter who is now carefully selecting a panel that will challenge and enlighten the audience. Australia’s leading Wagyu feeders are on this panel.
The Gala Dinner, Charity Auction and the Branded Beef Competition award announcements remain important parts of the program.
The Wagyu 100% Fullblood Wagyu International Sale on the afternoon of Wednesday May 4 will be a live auction with bidding available online through AuctionsPlus. There are 70 lots on offer with 26% of the live animals and semen and 44% of the sires and dams of the embryos in the Top 10% of the Fullblood Terminal Index.
Following the success of the 2015 Queensland tour, a two day tour will visit four significant Wagyu operations in the Hunter region. The tour departs from the Crowne Plaza on Thursday morning May 5 and returns there on the evening of May 6.
Host properties are:
Kuro Kin Wagyu (Peter Bishop). Kuro Kin has topped the Conference sale for the past two years and has developed a bull breeding and marketing program.
Delta Wagyu (Steve Binnie). Four generations of Binnies have successfully produced cattle in the Hunter Valley and have now made the switch to Wagyu.
Killara Feedlot (Elders owned, managed by Tony Fitzgerald). Custom feeds Wagyu.
Jacks Creek Wagyu (Warmoll family). Visit the producer of the ‘World’s Best Steak’.
TOUR ACCOMMODATION for Thursday evening May 5 is in Tamworth and is included in the tour fee. All other accommodation is the responsibility of the attendee to book and pay.
Registrations can be made now bur CLOSE ON APRIL 18. Enter on-line through the ‘Events’ section at wagyu.org.au
The initial accommodation option at the Crowne Plaza is now full. If you wish to stay in the Hunter Valley during the conference an overflow accommodation option is available at The Guest House. To book accommodation with The Guest House book direct on 1300 590 075 and mention the Wagyu Conference for the best rates. The Guest House is located 8kms away from the conference venue – the Crowne Plaza.
Monday APRIL 18…CONFERENCE & TOUR REGISTRATIONS CLOSE
Monday APRIL 18…TRANSFER BOOKINGS AIRPORT to CROWNE PLAZA CLOSE
Monday MAY 2…GETTING TO KNOW WAGYU..PRE-CONFERENCE BONUS SESSION 2pm-5pm…ALL WELCOME
Monday MAY 2…WELCOMING COCKTAIL PARTY… 6pm-9pm
Tuesday MAY 3…CONFERENCE DAY 1…. 8:30am-5pm
Tuesday MAY 3…GALA DINNER…6:30pm for 7pm
Wednesday MAY 4…CONFERENCE DAY 2…8:30am-12:15pm
Wednesday MAY 4…SPECIAL WAGYU LUNCH..12:15pm-1:45pm with feature dishes and BBC tastings
Wednesday MAY 4…WAGYU FULLBLOOD 100% INTERNATIONAL SALE (70 LOTS) 1:45pm-4:30pm.
Thursday & Friday MAY 5-6…WAGYU AT WORK IN THE HUNTER tour. Departs Crowne Plaza 7am May 5 and returns 6pm May 6.