THE Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging team, made up of five students from across Australia, is about to embark on a four week trip of the US where team-members will compete in three Intercollegiate meat judging contests.
Making the Australian team was no easy feat, with the Australian representatives chosen from around 150 competitors from in events held earlier in the year.
Proudly representing their country this year are Clara Collison (UNE), Meg Parsons (CSU), Hannah Marshall (Adelaide), Ella Mazoudier (Tocal) and Timothy Morley-Sattler (CSU). All aim to do their country proud and spend the duration of their careers in the meat industry in one form or another.
Meg Parsons, from Gum Flat, a tiny village near Inverell, NSW, is studying veterinary science, and said the ICMJ experience so far has been very rewarding. “ICMJ has honestly been an amazing experience and one that I am so pleased to be a part of,” she said.
“Through ICMJ, I have made some wonderful industry contacts and friends, and met so many people who provide me with new knowledge at every turn. I have learnt so much about the meat industry through the program and truly feel that from it I will not only be a better producer myself, but a better veterinarian.”
“The ICMJ program has also widened my scope about career options as a vet, and our ability to have an impact right along the chain of supply, as well as influence consumer opinion and demand for product.”
Meg strongly urges anybody, even remotely interested in the agricultural industry, to participate in ICMJ and see where it can lead them.
Clara Collison, from Scone, NSW, said she hopes to learn the differences between the Australian and US red meat industries during the trip. “I hope to gain knowledge of these differences and develop an understanding of the industry relationships between Australia and the US,” she said.
Clara also hopes to be exposed to the American way of life, make friendships and make the most of the networking opportunities for future career opportunities.
Hannah Marshall, studying Animal Science at the University of Adelaide, has also benefited from being involved in the ICMJ program.
“I am currently working in a local feedlot and would not have been provided with the opportunity if not for ICMJ. I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of industry representatives and gain further insight into the field that I am growing to love more and more. I am forever thankful for the opportunity that came my way through ICMJ,” she said.
Timothy Morley-Sattler, from Bullaburra, NSW is studying Animal Science at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. He hopes to work within the meat and livestock industries, “especially working with producers to increase production as the industry grows with increasing consumer demand.”
Rounding out the team, Ella Mazoudier, from Lorne on the NSW Mid North Coast, has just completed a 12-month Certificate III in Agriculture at Tocal Agricultural College.
Ella said she would also like to gain a greater understanding of the feedback systems available to US producers and how effective they are as a decision-making tool for producers when developing a breeding program.
“Every year the students perform well and to the best of their ability,” the coach of the Australian National Team, Emma Hegarty.
“We always have a great group of students who have been selected from a large pool. I think that this team will work really hard and perform well in the US –they’ve shown a lot of initiative, passion and drive to get this far in the program, and this will carry through to the US,” Ms Hegarty said.
“It is not about winning at the contests, but doing the best that they can and giving them a good understanding of the meat and livestock industries in the US to expand their knowledge of global agriculture.”
Each student will also research and report on a chosen industry related topic during the trip to provide insights into opportunities and challenges they see between US and Australian industries.
- The Australian ICMJ team, sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processors Corporation, depart on January 6, competing in three contests, flying in and out of Dallas, Texas. The team will travel through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and back to Texas.
- The itinerary not only includes training and competing, but visiting abattoirs operated by JBS, Tyson Foods and Cargill, universities including Wyoming, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and the world famous Clay Centre research station ranches. The group will also visit feedlots and further processing facilities.
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