Beef Central news briefs 6 June 2012

Beef Central, 06/06/2012

New chair for Herefords Australia

New Herefords Australia chair Steve ReidQueensland stud Hereford breeder Steve Reid,Talbalba, Millmerran, has been appointed to the position of chairman of Herefords Australia at the first meeting of organisation’s recently elected board. The vice chairman is Pat Pearce, Yavenvale, Adelong, NSW, and treasurer is Hilary O’Leary, Remolea, Clifton, Qld. The executive committee comprises the three office bearers plus Sam King, Bowmont, Tatyoon, Vic. Mr Reid has been a board member for six years and will focus on expanding the commercial use of the breed in straight and cross breeding programs.  “Hereford cattle are my passion and my business and for me to be successful, the breed has to be successful,” he said. Mr Reid was a driving force behind Hereford’s expanded presence at Beef 2012 in Rockhampton. “I see many opportunities for the breed in cross breeding both in both the south and in the north and we must treat these as opportunities rather than challenges”, he said. Other members of the new board are Gary Clarke, Shangri La, Ridgley, Tas, Peter Croker, Bolong, The Rock, NSW, Marc Greening, Injemira, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Scott Hann, Truro, Bellata, NSW, Kevin Hillsdon, Westmorland, Rockley, NSW, Ken Ikin, Cloverlee, Bannister, NSW, Keith Miles, Bingeberry, Aberdeen, NSW, and CharlesTownsing, Cawkers Well, Wilcannia, NSW.

US and EU announce organic equivalency

New rules will allow organic products certified in the United States or European Union to be sold as organic in either market, the USDA has announced. The rule, introduced under the US-EU equivalency partnership, opens new markets for farmers in both countries who grow, package, ship, and market organic products. The US signed a similar partnership with Canada in July 2009, and additional equivalency arrangement conversations have begun with South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Previously, producers and companies wanting to trade products on both sides of the Atlantic had to obtain separate certifications to two standards, which resulted in a double set of fees, inspections, and paperwork.  The USDA said market data showed that more than two-thirds of US consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28pc buy organic products weekly.


New study promotes plant-based diets

Meat and Livestock Australia has played down a new study which promotes plant-based diets. The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia Open, says that a well-planned, plant based diet can meet the nutritional needs of all adults and children whatever their age. Nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton said the research supports her long term view that a meat based diet is not necessary to provide the protein and iron that growing bodies need. Meat and Livestock Australia Nutrition Marketing Manager, Veronique Droulez, said no plant food had the same nutrient profile as beef and lamb. “Therefore replacing their contribution to nutrient intake in a vegetarian diet requires careful planning and consideration of food preferences,” she said. Dr Stanton told ABC Radio that while she recommends moving towards a plant-based diet, she does not necessarily advocate removing all meat products. "You always need a variety. Variety is important," she said. Roy Morgan research shows that there is no evidence that more Australians are leading a vegetarian lifestyle, with the figure remaining stable at 9pc.

New officers in Qld to fight ticks, weeds and wild dogs

The Queensland Government has announced it will appoint 15 new officers to help primary producers fight ticks, weeds and feral pests, particularly wild dogs. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the new coalition government was committed to doubling Queensland’s food production by 2040, and the one of most immediate production gains would be achieved by using more frontline officers to help producers to control pests. "My department will be taking a far stronger stance in protecting our primary industries from pests and weeds," he said. "Each position has been created in areas of high need and risk and will boost the levels of professional expertise to prepare for, detect and respond to biosecurity incidents.”


Research funding to combat Hendra virus

The fight against Hendra virus has been boosted with the announcement of six new research projects supported by $2 million in funding that will look into how the virus is spread, how infection might be prevented and improving how the virus is detected. The $2 million is part of an overall $9 million funding package provided jointly by the Federal Government and the NSW and Qld Governments under the National Hendra Virus Research Program announced in July 2011.  An additional $3 million in Hendra virus research funds provided by the Gillard Government is being managed by the National Health and Medical Research Council. The six projects commence immediately and are to be finalised within three years. They will be centrally coordinated by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and carried out by a number of Australian universities and the CSIRO.


Advice for beef producers on fattening up returns

The forum in Charters Towers on Friday, June 22 will provide northern beef producers with advice on marketing and Meat Standards Australia. A Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) forum will present results from two producer demonstration sites established to help graziers find ways of achieving a better grading under the MSA system, which categorises beef based on eating quality. Senior beef extension officer, Alan Laing, said the sites show that effective management techniques not only increase MSA compliance rates, but also increase financial returns. Guest speakers include Jake Phillips from MSA, Brett Campbell from JBS Australia, Rodger Jefferis from Elrose, Cloncurry; Stu McLennan from Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation and John Bertram from Tropical Beef Technology Systems. To register email janine@jkconnections or call 0419 735 542



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