Melbourne Uni tops national meat judging competition

Jon Condon, 10/07/2012


Champion Team award winners(L-R) Alister Knight (coach), Natasha Roman, Matt Lawless, Lucinda Corrigan (MLA), Tristan Smith, Tim Ryan, Geoffrey Bullen, and coaches Rashelle Levonian and Hyatt Frobose.A team representing the University of Melbourne has emerged triumphant in the closest-ever annual National Meat Judging Competition held last weekend.

The five member team has claimed the title of 2012 Champion Team as well as producing the individual champion assessor at the national meat judging contest, held in Wagga Wagga.

In a scene reminiscent of the AFL’s or Rugby League’s Player of the Year awards, students were kept on the edge of their seats at Saturday night’s competition dinner, sponsored by Coles, as counting continued, with only ten points separating first and third-placed teams at the conclusion.

More than 100 students from ten universities across Australia, as well as the US and Japan competed in the national contest hosted by Charles Sturt University and Teys Australia.

Competitors were assessed across beef, lamb and pork carcase judging plus eating quality evaluation, and primal and retail cut identification.

Of the available 4600 contest points, the University of Melbourne earned 3629 points, followed by Murdoch University with 3622, and Charles Sturt University in third place with 3619 – the closest finish in history.

The individual championship went to the University of Melbourne’s Tim Ryan, with Haydn McKay of Charles Sturt University, Wagga runner-up, only 40 points behind.

Tim also topped the individual placings within the beef carcase judging category, with fellow Uni of Melbourne team-member Geoffrey Bullen runner-up. Other membrs of the winning Uni of Melbourne team were Natasha Roman and Matt Lawless.

Hyatt Frobose, assistant coach of Melbourne University commended Teys Australia for its generosity in hosting the beef contest this year. I was very impressed with the quality of the contest classes and the excellent officiating,” he said.

Ten finalists were selected to undertake a five-day Meat Standards Australia training course in Brisbane later this year. Five of these will then be selected in the Australian National meat judging team to travel to US in January next year to compete in the meat judging contest at Denver National Western Stock Show and complete an extensive industry tour.

Prior to the contest, students participated in a four-day workshop featuring industry speakers, interactive carcase utilisation workshops, meat judging training and a meat and livestock industry supply chain careers forum.

Coach of the winning team, Alister Knight thanked all of the sponsors and industry presenters.

“The knowledge and networks gained from throughout the week will be invaluable in planning our futures within the industry,” he said.

ICMJ Association president Michael Crowley said he had never seen a more exciting result in the competition and was impressed with the quality of students engaged in the program this year.

“The students really engaged with the industry representatives that made themselves available to the students. They certainly made the most of their time in Wagga,” he said.


Teams involved this year included University of New England, Tocal Agricultural College, University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide, Murdoch University, Charles Sturt University Orange, Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, University of Sydney, University of Illinois (US), Texas Tech University (US), and the Japanese National team.

Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation are major sponsors of the annual competition.


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