LIFTING profitability and productivity in the northern beef industry, and engaging more effectively with community groups will be just some of the topics in focus during a producer forum hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia scheduled as part of Beef 2015’s seminar program.
The four-hour forum will touch on wide-ranging subject areas including research into improving reproductive performance in northern herds, and using the new MSA Index in northern production systems.
MLA director and local beef producer Geoff Maynard, from Mt Eugene near Jambin, will act as chairman.
Taking place at Rockhampton showgrounds on Wednesday, 6 May from 1-5pm, the program been built around the theme, ‘Delivering value and driving change.’
Here’s a quick snapshot of the program highlights:
MLA managing director Richard Norton will open the seminar, speaking on the topic, “Providing the platform to meet industry’s potential.”
He will outline the role MLA plays in addressing the challenges faced by the Australian beef industry; what the future of producers’ levy look like; and how industry can influence MLA investment.
Mr Norton will also provide insight into what MLA, as the industry’s marketing and R&D service provider, is doing to deliver value back to beef businesses, and look at MLA’s future role.
He will provide a summary of insights and recommendations from the report, which he co-authored for MLA. The project analysed 12 years of financial data for Northern beef producers, and identifies and discusses those factors that separated the top 25 percent of producers from the rest – and what areas of management all producers should be focusing on to improve their profitability.
MLA’s Grassfed productivity program manager Dr Wayne Hall will address the forum on improving reproduction in northern herds, drawing on findings and recommendations from latest research and development work in this area. The primary source will be the recent MLA/Beef CRC Cash CashCow and Breeder Mortality projects, which present management recommendations for better reproductive performance.
Also contributing to the forum’s reproduction content will be Charters Towers beef producer Michael Lyons, (pictured right), who will present a case study on his family property, Wambiana, discussing what management changes the Lyons family has made and what they are planning for the future to improve reproduction performance.
The Australian Beef Language Review project, currently underway (click here to view earlier report), and its impact on the beef industry will be discussed by MLA’s Dr Alex Ball.
He will provide an overview of the content of the Beef Language Review White Paper and the proposed changes to the Australian beef language, and address the opportunities for the beef industry in underpinning beef language with rigorous science.
Discussing the application of the MSA Index in northern production systems will be Jessira Perovic, MLA’s project manager for eating quality data analytics, pictured left. This presentation will showcase the performance of the northern beef herd with regards to the MSA Index and compliance – highlighting trends in eating quality performance and conformance.
Supporting her MSA presentation will be a producer case-study from Debbie McBryde, from Oombabeer Station, west of Moura.
Debbie will provide an MSA producer perspective based on her experiences, discussing how her herd of 600-700 Brahman steers constantly achieves high eating quality results and how adopting a holistic management style and prioritising animal welfare contributes to the consistent production of quality beef.
Building consumer loyalty in the domestic market
The forum’s final segment will focus on growing consumer loyalty in the domestic beef market, and community engagement.
MLA’s consumer programs marketing manager Andrew Howie maintains that future success of beef in the domestic market will rely on being able to grow its base of loyal consumers.
“There is already an established base of beef loyalists, but unless we can remain relevant to families seeking quick, easy and healthy meals, we risk losing ground to competitive proteins,” Andrew suggests.
This presentation will provide an insight into the relevance of beef to the Australian consumer as we move towards 2020.
Pip Band, MLA’s community engagement manager says that in the modern world, the industry is seeing increasing activity from activist groups, customers setting the standards for what is acceptable in beef production and a community that is well-removed from agriculture.
Does this mean the community has a beef with beef? Pip’s presentation will provide an overview of the community research undertaken by MLA and explore the long-term risks to the industry and what they mean for individual producers.
MLA Producer Forum
When: Wednesday 6 May from 1-5pm
Where: James Lawrence Pavilion – Gallagher Energizer Room (followed by BBQ in the MLA Innovation Marquee)
Cost: Free (previous communication suggesting a $15 entry fee is incorrect). Attendees are welcome to stay for a post-forum barbecue from 5pm.
Reservations are essential: Click here to access.