AUSTRALIAN Agricultural Co managing director Hugh Killen will be keynote speaker at the Australian Wagyu Association’s 2019 annual conference, this year being held in Adelaide on 8-10 May.
AA Co controls the world’s largest Wagyu beef herd, and Mr Killen will provide conference delegates with a snapshot of the company’s journey in breeding, feeding and marketing Wagyu and its future plans.
This year marks the 30th anniversary since the foundation of the Australian Wagyu Breeders Association in 1989, and to mark the occasion, Tasmanian breed pioneer Keith Hammond will present a retrospective on 30 years of breed history during this year’s conference program.
Organisers are currently finalising the full list of conference speakers.
The Australian Wagyu Association selects a different region of Australia each year to hold its annual conference, in part to showcase local Wagyu breeders’ operations across the continent.
Last year’s event held in Mackay provided a glimpse into several large Central Queensland Wagyu breeding operations, in the lead-up to the Beef Australia 2018 event in Rockhampton last May.
This year’s Adelaide conference will include an optional post-conference tour on 11-12 May visiting the de Bruin family’s Mayura Wagyu operations on SA’s Limestone Coast, and Nick Sher and family’s Sher Wagyu operations across the border in western Victoria. Both operate vertically-integrated Fullblood Wagyu production systems linked to successful brands that have enjoyed award-winning recognition across Australia and overseas.
The annual AWA conference has grown to become a highlight on the Australian beef industry conference calendar, last year attracting more than 400 delegates from across Australia and overseas.
The event brings together a host of expert high profile speakers, Wagyu breeders, lotfeeders, processors, exporters and supply chain managers, together with a wide range of industry service providers. Among a broad range of topics, the breadth of presentations covers production and animal husbandry issues, meat science, marketing, global trends and consumer behaviour.
The event will again feature a comprehensive social program, allowing ample time for networking and knowledge-building. Key social events include an informal welcome dinner, and a Gala Dinner featuring the industry’s annual branded beef awards.
The AWA is again convening its popular Wagyu Branded Beef competition, results from which will be announced during the conference gala dinner. Judging this year will take place at Hog’s, Cleveland (Brisbane) on March 14.
The highly regarded Branded Beef Competition seeks to promote excellence in Wagyu beef production in four classes, providing an opportunity for supply chains to benchmark their product against others.
Classes are provided for Fullblood, crossbred and commercial Wagyu steak entries, with a fourth class enabling butchers to create a gourmet sausage based on Wagyu beef.
Entries for the competition close on 15 February.
This year’s conference will again feature the Elite Wagyu National Sale, showcasing the top 5pc of Wagyu genetics.
The sale, now in its sixth year, will take place during the evening of 10 May, as part of the wrap-up for the 2019 conference. The quality of the offering has in the past attracted vigorous bidding from in-house delegates attending the conference, as well as remote bidding from across Australia and overseas via an online auction facility.
In previous years the sale has seen remarkable record-breaking bids including a winning bid for a Poll Wagyu bull at $185,000, sired by famed Mayura Itoshigenami Jr. This year bulls, semen, females and embryos, as well as special interest lots including polled Wagyu will be on offer, representing the best of Wagyu genetics.
Entries close on 18 February. Click here for details.
Event: Australian Wagyu Association Annual Conference
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre
When: 8-10 May 2019
Registration and more details: Click here.