TEAMS from University of Melbourne and Murdoch University were placed second and third respectively in overall standings in the 2017 Intercollegiate Meat Judging competition, held last week in Wagga Wagga.
A crack US team from Texas A & M university was judged the overall champion team, with two of its team members, Jenna Hunt and Maggie Madden, crowned overall individual champion and runner-up.
Teys Australia Wagga hosted the annual competition which this year featured ten Australian University teams and four international teams.
Overall, the week-long competition which kicked off on July 3 and finished up with an awards dinner last Saturday night attracted 125 students and 35 coaches from across Australia, Japan, Bogor, the United States and South Korea. Judging involved beef, lamb and pork carcases.
Australian uni teams and their individual members did particularly well in many of the competition’s sections.
In the Beef eating quality evaluation section, Charles Sturt U finished first, and Texas A&M runners-up. Individual winner was Rachel Cruickshank from Murdoch U, with Amy Graetz from U of Sydney runner-up.
In the Primal and retail cut identification division, the Japanese national team was the winner, with Murdoch U runners up. Individual winner of the section was Emily Webb Ware, U of Melbourne.
Murdoch U also finished runners-up in the lamb carcase judging behind Texas A&M, while University of Melbourne’s team was runner-up to Texas A&M in the beef carcase judging division, where Bridie Luers from Murduch U was individual runner-up.
The overall pricings division saw University of Sydney placed first, with Korea’s national team runner-up. It was the first time a Korean entrant has featured among the division medalists, in the competition’s 27-year history. Individual winner was Nicole Culey from U of Sydney, with Jake McHugh, U of New England, runner-up.
Overall questions and reasons division winner was Texas A&M, with Murdoch U’s team (Rachel Cruickshank, Bridie Luers, Harrit Moss and Keely McGregor) runners-up.
ICMJ President Dr Peter McGilchrist said the Korean team’s achievement was testament to their dedication to learning about Australian red meat production.
“Our program has absolutely achieved our goal of inspiring and developing future leaders of the global red meat industry,” he said.
“This year was a great cohort of students who posed the most thought-provoking questions we’ve ever had to our presenters, interacted heavily with companies at the careers expo and took full advantage of every opportunity.”
Dr McGilchrist said the success of ICMJ would not occur without the continued support of its major sponsors including MLA, AMPC, APL, Teys Australia, NH Foods, JBS, AACo, Rivalea, GradLink and Coles.
The top 10 finalists and the Coach’s pick teams chosen from this year’s competitors will go on to participate in an industry training week with MLA staff in Brisbane in August.
Following the industry training week in Brisbane, five students from the top 10 finalists will be selected for a tour of the American meat industry in the New Year, during which they will compete in US meat judging competitions.
Those chosen as Top 10 finalists this year were Bridie Luers, Rachel Cruickshank and Harriet Moss from Murdoch University; Lachlan Woods, Jane Nelson and Jake Bourlet, Charles Sturt University; Nicola Culey and Karl Sternberg, University of Sydney; Emily Lukas, University of Queensland; and Emily Webb Ware, University of Melbourne.
The Coach’s XI chosen after last week’s event: Lorenzo Crollini, University of Sydney; Elizabeth Kennedy, University of Melbourne; Paige Marsh, Tocal College; Henry Vaughan, Murdoch University; Johanna Tulloch, LaTrobe University; Annabelle Butler, University of Queensland; Isabelle Fenton, Marcus Oldham College; Michael Sauli, University of New England; Matthew Cadd, University of Adelaide; Ashleigh O’Leary, Charles Sturt University.
Charles Sturt University team member and top 10-finalist, Jane Nelson said the week opened her eyes to the possibilities within the Australian red meat industry.
“I learned so much more than I ever could have imagined,” the third year Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Veterinary Biology student said.
“The networking not only among industry professionals but also my peers was really beneficial. I’m looking forward to the training week, especially to see how feedlots are managed in Queensland,” she said.