THE ‘house full’ sign has been hung out for the World Wagyu Conference starting on Friday evening, with 350 registrations from 16 countries generating the largest gathering ever of the breed outside Japan.
The response is typical of the attendance seen at many early Beef 2015 events held so far, with standing-room only at yesterday’s RCS seminar and Agforce’s “Meeting Consumers’ and our own expectations” seminar.
“There is just no space to take any more attendees for our conference in Yeppoon, and we have developed a waiting list,” Australian Wagyu Association’s CEO Graham Truscott said.
A post conference tour of five Central Queensland Wagyu operations follows on May 10 to 13 with a third coach added to cope with demand. There are only 10 spots left on the tour before the maximum 120 is reached.
The 20 speakers enlisted for Saturday and Sunday’s conference program will broach a broad range of topics covering the complete production and supply chains:
- Wagyu legend Shogo Takeda, the person responsible for releasing Japanese Wagyu genetics to the world, will appear twice on the program. He will demonstrate the unique Japanese conformation requirements with cattle from the Capricorn Resort’s own Wagyu herd and the next day will explain the latest developments in the Wagyu breed in Japan.
- Donald McGauchie, chairman of AA Co which runs the world’s largest Wagyu herd, will discuss global demand and explain the contribution Wagyu branded product is making to AA Co’s growth and profitability.
- International presenters include American entrepreneur Pete Eshelman who runs the Joseph Deicus operation which breeds Wagyu to eventually serving the Wagyu beef in its own award winning restaurants. Another American presenter is Bob Estrin who at his 2014 sale, cleared 100 Wagyu females for $US1.03 million US for an average of $US11,529.
- The significance of melting point in eating quality and research on the ‘good’ fatty acids contained in marbled Wagyu beef will be a feature in the presentation by research scientist Dr Sally Lloyd.
One session sure to attract interest will be ‘The future of Wagyu in Australia’ led by Australian Wagyu Association CEO Graham Truscott. The many large and small operations that have invested in the Wagyu industry will be keen to learn if the 50% premiums for Wagyu feeder steers and the rapid expansion of demand for Wagyu beef will continue.
Stage One of the innovative Wagyu Collaborative Genetics Research Project aimed at accelerating breed development and improvement has been completed and the results from this project and the plans for stage Two will be the subject for Sam Gill, MLA’s Genetics and Genomics Project Manager.
A range of other Australian producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers will spell out the steps that need to be taken to become involved in the rapidly expanding Wagyu industry.
A live auction, interfaced with Auctionsplus, midway through the conference on May 9, will feature 40 live and genetic lots.