BeefWorks feedlot forum promises to inform, engage

Jon Condon, 13/08/2013

The registration process is now open for the feedlot industry’s two-day BeefWorks technical forum event, which takes place on Queensland’s Darling Downs on October 23 and 24.

The much anticipated BeefWorks forum staged every two years by the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association for the first time leaves its traditional venue in Toowoomba, instead taking place this year ‘on-site’ at the Hart family’s Kerwee feedlot near Jondaryan.

ALFA’s decision to take BeefWorks ‘on the road’, coupled with an outstanding national and international speaker line-up, has generated strong grainfed sector stakeholder interest.

BewefWorks event chair Gina Lincoln ALFA councillor and events chair, Gina Lincoln, said the format of the two-day event would allow delegates to get a thorough insight into the workings of the Kerwee feedlot, located 40 minutes west of Toowoomba.

The first day of the event will see delegates meet in the feedlot’s machinery workshop – converted into an auditorium for 350 people – while the second day will see delegates working in smaller groups and undertaking workshops on various topics around the feedlot.

As advised earlier, this year’s keynote speaker will be world-renowned animal handling and behaviour expert, Dr Temple Grandin, who will deliver a presentation on measuring up to standards, as well as delivering a series of stock handling demonstrations.

She is joined by two fellow US-based beef cattle specialists, Dr Jude Capper, speaking on “Seizing opportunities for efficiency gains” and Dr Sam Ives, “Revolutionising animal health conventions”.

They will be supported by a strong line-up of local expert speakers, a sample of which include:

  • IAP nutritionist Dr Rob Lawrence, discussing “Beta Agonists – an exploration of the facts”.
  • MLA’s Eating Quality R&D program manager Alex Ball, discussing the proposed new MSA index. The new weighted average eating quality carcase score aims to improve producer feedback and decision-making capability by removing references to boning groups as an indicator of eating quality
  • “Delving into the hearts and minds of those who make it their business to threaten ours”: Cox Inall’s Tim Powell discusses the strategies employed and the business model behind animal rights groups, how they create such groundswell through social media and offers his opinion on what intensive animal industries can do about it.

A wide range of practical sessions during BeefWorks will include:

  • Going Solar: AA Co has made significant investment in solar energy throughout its properties, including a number of installations at Aronui and Goonoo feedlots. General manager feedlots Greg Gibbons will provide a snapshot of the company’s rationale and the experience so far (read Beef Central’s earlier article here)
  • Rangers Valley commits to BioGas: CEO Don Mackay provides a first-hand overview of the company’s plans for biogas generation and how that will be integrated into the feedlot operation (read Beef Central’s earlier report here).

Other program highlights include the traditional series of ALFA awards – recognising young leadership through the Young Lot Feeder Achiever Award; recognising excellence in workplace learning (the Zoetis Medal); the outstanding services to industry award; the IAP Innovators’ award; and this year for the first time, the Australian Country Choice feedlot industry safe work award Award.

Local facilities including the nearby Jondaryan Woolshed will be used to host the forum dinner.

  • In order to comply with the biosecurity and safety requirements for taking the event to a working site, registrations will close on October 16 (earlier if venue capacity has been reached).
  • The full program is accessible here, and the online registration process can be accessed here.


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