A STRONG lineup of international and domestic speakers will cover-off on global trade developments and other key red meat industry topics at the BeefEx 2016 industry conference on the Gold Coast next week.
BeefEx is the feedlot sector’s biennial major conference, drawing together feedlot operators and their staff, nutritionists and veterinarians, regulators, service providers, transport operators and others involved in the Australian grainfed beef supply chain for an information-packed two-day conference program.
With the industry currently undergoing an expansionary phase, the grainfed sector is well positioned to take advantage of emerging trade opportunities in established and emerging international beef markets.
Key topics for discussion this year include:
- The global meat game – what is going on and where?
- Investing in Australian agriculture
- The politics of food
- Industry structure
- The domestic front.
Content in the program is being structured with both larger and smaller corporate and family-scale feedlots in mind.
This year’s keynote presentation will come from Mike Thoren, chief executive of JBS USA’s Five Rivers feedlot division. Five Rivers is the world’s largest cattle feeder, accounting for one-time feeding capacity of 930,000 head across its 11 feed yards, turning of 1.8 million cattle each year, according to statistics produced in Steve Kay’s Cattle Buyers Weekly annual Top 30 US Cattle Feeders report.
Within his broader topic Mr Thoren will outline how JBS Five Rivers is positioning itself in the global beef supply chain.
Prior to joining JBS in 2005, Mr Thoren was CEO of ContiBeef. He began his career with Continental Grain Co in 1991, serving in several leadership positions including feedyard general manager, director of feedlot operations and CEO. He holds a Master of Science in Ag Economics and Bachelors of Science in Agribusiness from Washington State U. He is active in a number of local and US national industry groups.
Mr Thoren will followed in the BeefEx program by a series of overseas speakers from southeast Asia, South America and South Africa, providing snapshots of trade trends, opportunities and challenges in their respective regions.
Providing insight into trade developments in the booming southeast Asia region will be James Leftwich from Austrex. He will deliver an on-the-ground view on the volatile southeast Asian market and the many and varied challenges facing their feedlot sector, from managing disease risk to competition for feeder steers and tackling the well-publicised animal welfare issues.
South Africa’s Willem Wethmar will give an account of his Chalmar Beef 25,000 head feed and integrated beef processing plant, one of South Africa’s largest lotfeeding operations.
The four international speakers will be joined by former ALFA president Malcolm Foster, in an international trade panel session chaired by Beef Central’s Jon Condon.
Consumer perceptions, sustainability and the red meat industry’s social license to operate, raising equity in the ag sector, research developments, industry benchmarking and animal welfare will also come under the spotlight during the two-day program.
Bovine Dynamics’ Dr Matt George will present findings from a 15-year feedlot sector benchmarking data review. He will endeavour to explain feedlot sector progress in performance, its challenges and where he sees the future direction of grainfed beef. Click here to view full conference program details.
Annual awards a highlight
The conference program will be supported by a number of high quality social functions, allowing stakeholders to network and catch up with acquaintances.
The event also supports a number of important industry awards, which will again be presented during the program and at the industry dinners. The list includes:
More details on the award categories and what’s involved to nominate later.
Event: BeefEx 2016 biennial feedlot industry conference
Where: Royal Pines, Gold Coast
When: 11-13 October 2016.
Accommodation: Booking deadline Wednesday 7 September
Contact: East Coast Conferences [email protected]