2019 Conference and Tour

The WagyuEdge: Building Integrity 2019 Annual Conference & Tour has become a must-do event on the Australian beef industry calendar.

Extending across three days, the conference program aims to generate conversation on our Future Wagyu Feeders, Making the Most of Data, Quality to underpin Brand Promise, Feedlotting and creating a sustainable future for our Wagyu beef industry. An exciting two-day Tour program will commence at the conclusion of the conference visiting renowned Wagyu operations in South Australia and Victoria.



The Conference gets underway on Day 1 at 10am with introductions from the President of the AWA and acknowledgement of our 30 years in the making before we turn to innovations in nutrition and breeding, then focus on how to use this in the  future by assessing future trends for Wagyu feeders and the feedlot system. The final session concludes with an industry panel discussion on where the feedlot industry is headed.

Our first opportunity to relax and socialise is at the Welcome Function. Looking forward to a high-class affair on the top of the Adelaide Oval looking back across the River Torrens and the city skyline!

Kicking off Day 2 is our first Keynote Speaker, CEO of AACo, Hugh Killen who will give an overview of the importance of brand strategy and genetics in a global market. That global market is then given a further perspective by MLA’s Japan expert, Andrew Cox and Japanese market commentator Bully Kohno. We swing into a higher gear to optimise quality to uphold brand promise and how that quality translates into the eating quality we know is integral to Wagyu beef. The feedlotters will also weigh on how feed and management delivers on that brand promise. Using good foundations is fundamental to quality as explored with Arubial Wagyu/Lillyvale feedlot.

Time to dress for a night of entertainment and celebration of Australian Wagyu with the Gala Dinner! Always a terrific night, it includes the Charity Auction and announcement of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition.

Practical examples of Wagyu production are always welcome and we will hear how Jac Wagyu and Heartbrand USA have become success stories in the industry. The morning session will conclude with our second high-profile Keynote Speaker (to be announced shortly) and an industry leadership panel Q&A session to discuss what is needed for the foundations of a sustainable Wagyu industry.

Breaking for lunch, join us in a celebration of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition tasting the very best that the Australian Wagyu beef industry has to offer, including medal winners from all categories.

The final event in our program turns the conference stage into a live auction room with the Elite Wagyu National Sale. Commencing at 3 pm (Adelaide time), the auction showcases the very best of Australian Wagyu genetics on offer.




Commencing: 10.00 am

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea served through the day. 

Session One   

Presidents Welcome – Presented by Chantal Winter
30 years of the AWA and Wagyu in Australia – Presented by Keith Hammond, former AWA President, Owner / Director Robbins Island Wagyu
Wagyu Feeder Calculator – Presented by Dr Hutton Oddy, Principle Scientist, DPI

Morning Session Two

Using Wagyu BreedObject $ Indexes – Presented by Dr Brad Walmsley, Research Geneticist, AGBU
Carcase data and relating it to breeding decisions – Presented by Catriona Millen, Technical Officer SBTS

Afternoon Session Three   

Future Wagyu feeder forum


  • Berry Reynolds, Private Client Manager, Mort & Co
  • Andrew Malloy, Livestock Procurement Manager, Rangers Valley Feeder directions
  • Steve Martin, General Manager Operations, Kerwee Feeder directions

Evening Welcome Dinner


Commencing: 8.45 am

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea served during the day. 

Morning Session Four   

The Big Picture – Keynote Speaker Hugh Killen, CEO, AACo
International markets and trends – Presented by Andrew Cox, Regional Manager – Japan and Korea, MLA
Wagyu Industry Directions from Japan – Presented by Bully Kohno, Japanese Industry Consultant/commentator

Morning Session Five 

Performance recording underpins confident breeding decisions  – Presented by Anthony Winter, Manager, Macquarie Wagyu
Quality attributes underpinning flavour in Wagyu – Presented by Dr Damian Frank, CSIRO – Research Scientist

Afternoon Session Six

Feedlot industry projections and Wagyu trends – Presented by Bryce Camm, President ALFA
Managing Wagyu on feed – Presented by Gina Lincoln, Lincoln Farm Management

Afternoon Session Seven    

Scaling up with quality – Presented by Laird Morgan, Arubial Wagyu and Lillyvale Feedlot
Fit for purpose Wagyu – Presented by Alan Hoey, Allora breeder and genetics specialists

Evening  Conference GALA DINNER
A regular highlight of the conference. The dinner features the announcement of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition awards and the ever popular Charity Auction with proceeds going toward the Royal Flying Doctors Service.


Commencing: 10.00 am

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea served during the day. 

Morning Session Eight

Jac Wagyu Story – Vertical integration to optimise quality – Presented by Jason Lewis, Managing Director, Jac Wagyu
HeartBrand USA – promise to product – Presented by JoJo Carales, Vice President, Heartbrand USA

Morning Session Nine

Foundations of a sustainable beef industry – Presented by Simon Crean, Chairman Livex

Morning Session Ten

Foundations of a sustainable beef industry – panel discussion


  • Hon. Simon Crean, Chairman, Livex
  • JoJo Carales,Vice President, Heartbrand USA
  • Tim Burgess, Sales & Marketing Manager – Beef, Mort & Co
  • Jason Lewis, Managing Director, Jac Wagyu
  • Anna Speer, Chief Operating Officer, AACo
  • Bryce Camm, President, ALFA

Lunch  Taste samples of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition

Elite Wagyu Sale    Starting at 3 pm sharp
Featuring lots of live bulls and females, embryos and semen.  Auctioneers will call the bids from the conference room at Adelaide Convention Centre.


The Tour departs Saturday, May 11 and heads to South Australia’s Mayura Station and The Tasting Room, then stopping overnight in Mt Gambier. Our journey continues into Victoria on Sunday to visit Sher Wagyu in Ballan for lunch and an informative afternoon.

The Tour will finish at Melbourne Airport (expected arrival time 6 pm), where delegates can choose to fly home or continue into the city to visit Melbourne.

Click here for more details about the tour.