FIVE Australian students from a strong field of 11 finalists have been selected as the 2020 Australian national meat judging team to travel to USA in January.
The team selected this week to represent Australia consists of Kieren Smith and Claire Marriott, both from the University of New England, Priscella Evans and Hamish Fuller, both from the University of Sydney and Margo Sullivan, Marcus Oldham College.
The team was selected at the 2020 Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ) Industry Development Week where 23 of the best and brightest students from across Australia convened in Brisbane to partake in a six-day industry and personal development tour in south-east Queensland.
The purpose of the Queensland tour is to showcase the range of outstanding opportunities available within the Australian meat industries. Students had the privilege of visiting sites and businesses such as the Super Butcher, Oakey Beef, Grassdale Feedlot, Sunpork’s Swickers processing plant, Australian Country Choice, Australian Agricultural Company, Dalby Saleyards, the Norman Hotel and Bindaree Food Group.
After the visiting Oakey Beef, Kieren Smith, UNE said he was impressed how technology can be used to ensure that absolutely nothing is wasted when a carcass is processed.
“We got to try our hand at everything from ‘pitching’ to making sausages whilst benefiting from the support industry leaders lend to the program such as the 2019 Cattle Council Rising Champion, Emily Pullen, the Norman Hotel head chef, Frank Correnti, Mort and Co’s Grassdale GM and ICMJ alumni, Brad Robinson,” Mr Smith said.
ACC’s Paul Gibson said the ICMJ program provides a solid platform and pathway to launch professional careers in the Australian Red Meat Industry.
Leading the tour this year National team coaches Nick van den Berg, MEQ, Keith SA and Melanie Smith, Sydney University, Camden NSW and assisted by ICMJ committee member Kiri Broad, Woolworths, Sydney, NSW.
Nick van den Berg said 2019 marks ICMJ’s 30th Anniversary and the impact of the program was highlighted when long-serving past national team coach and current Meat and Livestock
Australia Managing Director Jason Strong sat down with the current group to provide his perspective on the Red Meat industry’s future and how they can be a part of its development.
“We have the most amazingly passionate group of future leaders here. This group of up and comers will impress everyone they meet and any company lucky enough to gain the employment of one, is onto a very good thing,” said Mr van den Berg.
The Australian team will depart for the USA in early January for a four-week trip which will include competing against America’s best as well as allowing students to take in an array of industry visits such as major processors, feedlots, universities and seedstock operations.
Many students take the opportunity to partake in further short internships whilst in the US, fast tracking their experiences and understanding of one of Australia’s biggest partners in the red meat space.
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