The largest event yet in ICMJ history, was fittingly held in its 25th Anniversary.
Almost 150 students from 10 Australian Universities and four international teams from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia competed for the Roy McDonald Shield sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia. The students were supported by 35 coaches accompanying the various teams.
The deputy chairman of the Australian Meat Processors Corporation, David Foote, presented the individual champion award, the AMPC Founders Buckle to Alan Caro of the All American team, with close runner-up Stephanie Ede from Charles Sturt University.
Mr Foote told this year’s participants that the ICMJ program formed an important role in increasing the capability within the meat industry and it was a program AMPC was proud to invest in and support.
In the competition, the students are required to judge beef, lamb and pork carcasses and primals, along with identifying a range of beef primals and beef, lamb and pork retail cuts. The judging of carcases and primals is based around yield, muscling and quality to evaluate their retail value. The beef contest was hosted by Teys Australia whilst Rivalea Australia and JBS supported the small stock contest held at the CSU campus. Prizes for the various categories were widely spread amongst the Universities, creating an Awards evening full of suspense to the very end.
Aside from the judging contest, this year’s conference program, opened by MLA Managing Director Richard Norton attracted an impressive line-up of industry presenters. The seventeen industry speakers throughout the week provide inspiring and eye-opening insights into opportunities for graduates in the meat and livestock industry spanning areas of production, genetics, processing, and new technologies. Presenters included Bryce Camm (Camm Agricultural Group), Dr Darryl D’Souza (Australian Pork Limited), Grant Garey (General Manager of Feedlots for Teys Australia), Sam Burton Taylor (Sam’s Paddock) and Catherine Mariott (Influential women).
“This year’s program really exemplified the growth of the program over the past 25 years, and showed the professionalism of the students that the program has produced over this time”, said outgoing ICMJ President and General Manager of Kerwee Lot Feeders Brad Robinson.
“The calibre of this year’s participants showed the passion that young people have for the meat and livestock industry and the enthusiasm that they have for driving the industry forward into the future. The international contingent, with teams from the US, Japan, Korea and Indonesia, allowed students to interact and learn from some of Australia’s major trading partners, building networks for the future”, Brad said.
The objective of ICMJ is to lay strong foundations for agricultural industries by educating and injecting enthusiastic graduates into a range of diversified careers in the meat and livestock sector. Mr Robinson said, “The industry has a bright future with these students entering on a professional level over the coming years. The success of ICMJ would not occur without the continued support of our major sponsors, including MLA, AMPC, APL, Teys Australia and Coles”.
Showcasing the impact ICMJ is having on the industry, Cye Travers, AACo General Manager Branded Beef Group, talked in his address during the week about the large number of past ICMJ students employed within AACo and diverse opportunities available for graduates. Cye was also one of 60 ICMJ Alumni that joined the 25th Anniversary celebrations at the Coles Awards dinner and reunited with past students, coaches and Australian team members recognising the achievements of the ICMJ program.
Ten students were also selected from the competition to undertake a five day Meat Standards Australia (MSA) training course in Brisbane later this year, where they will receive a comprehensive introduction to the Australian meat processing sector. These students were Ella Mazoudier (Tocal Agricultural College), Hannah Marshall (University of Adelaide), Darcy Ryder, Clara Collison and Kate Lumber(University of New England), Timothy Morley-Sattler, Nicole Whitehouse, Meg Parsons, Stephanie Ede (Charles Sturt University) and Emma Bolding (La Trobe University). Five of these students will then be selected to take part in a tour of the US in January 2015.
The 2014 ICMJ competition involved: Murdoch University, University of New England, Tocal Agricultural College, University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide, Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, Charles Sturt University Orange, La Trobe University, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, All American team, Japanese National team, South Korean National Team, Bogor Agricultural College Indonesia and Indonesian industry representatives.
To see the full results of the ICMJ competition click here