The 2012 Australian national meat judging team is in the early stages of a US visit designed to hone their skills and provide competition in two of the largest meat judging events in North America.
The Australian team is made up of young members selected from universities and ag colleges across the country, having competed earlier for their learning institutions in the domestic intercollegiate meat judging competition.
The 2012 team of five students, which arrived in the US on January 7, includes Naomi Hobson (Charles Sturt University), Lucy Sheppard (Sydney University), Melissa Adams (Tocal Agricultural College), Katelyn Braine (Charles Sturt University) and Claire Payne (Murdoch University).
Providing coaching support are Brad Robinson (Carpenter Beef, WA) and Emma Hegarty (DEEDI, Qld).
The group is travelling across the US for three weeks learning the USDA grading system before competing in the National Western meat judging competition at Denver and concluding at the Southwestern competition at Fort Worth, Texas on January 28.
The trip is a study tour provided to the top five performing students from the annual Australian intercollegiate meat judging program. The program involves universities and ag colleges from across Australia and is focused on encouraging and aiding students in their careers within the Australian meat and livestock industries.
Along the way the group is visiting abattoirs, feedlots, ranches, research centres and universities as well as receiving presentations from speakers from within the US meat and livestock industries.
The students are receiving a crash course on how to judge beef lamb and pork under the USDA meat grading system, so they can compete in the two competitions against a number of US university teams. The tour provides the students with a basic knowledge of the US meat and livestock industries enabling them to take this back to Australia and incorporate it into their new roles when they graduate.
The program is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia and AMPC and sponsored by T&R Pastoral Co.The 2012 ICMJ workshop and competition will be held in Wagga Wagga from July 4-8.
- The Australian team and their progress can be followed on the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging facebook page click here