FIVE Australian students have been selected this week as the 2015 Australian national meat judging team to travel to the United States in January.
Their selection for the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging team follows a 130-student strong competition held in Wagga earlier this year.
The team, selected from a field of 10 finalists, consists of Reuben Welke of Murdoch University, Jessica McGrath from Charles Sturt Wagga Wagga, and Anna White, Georgia Clark and Simon Kensit from Sydney University.
Ten finalists received an exclusive behind-the-scenes meat industry experience this week, spending five days in south-east Queensland with Australian team selectors.
Brisbane-based beef processor and Coles supplier, Australian Country Choice hosted the students for several days providing training facilities and an insight into their business model, inspiring their careers in the industry.
The students also received a unique insight into the pork industry at Swickers, Kingaroy as well as JBS Australia operations by visiting Beef City and viewing Australia’s largest beef processing plant in operation at Dinmore.
South-east Queensland retailers, Super Butcher and Cabassi & Co also opened their doors to the students, rounding off the supply chain tour.
Anna White from Sydney University said the week of events allowed her to appreciate the diversity of the processing industry.
‘Coaches XI’ broadens ICMJ’s scope
Joining the ten finalists in Brisbane this year for the first time were an additional “Coaches’ XI”, made up of students selected by their university coaches.
“It was a great opportunity to get more contacts and get that further training and learning experience,” Brittany Hancock from the Coaches’ XI said.
Picking a team to represent Australian meat judging was no easy feat for Australian team coaches, Tim Ryan and Demi Lollback.
“We had a great group of students this year who were very enthusiastic and got right involved with all of the industry visits and grading activities,” Demi said.
“Of course that made it very hard for Tim and I to pick a team. It was a pleasure to give them all an insight into the industry we are both so passionate about.”
The Australian team will depart in early January for a four-week industry tour of the US including competing in up to three American meat judging competitions.
The Brisbane training week was sponsored by Meat Standards Australia.
Click the gallery of images below to see some of this week’s destinations visited by the ICMJ participants.