Strong skills-set in new CEO for Wagyu Association + VIDEO

Beef Central, 15/07/2012


Former Angus breed administrator, Graham Truscott has joined the Australian Wagyu Association as it's new chief executive officer. 

Mr Truscott – regarded as one of the seedstock industry's more experienced managers, having guided the fortunes of Angus Australia over a 13 year period of significant growth – now takes up the challenge of developing Wagyu as a major player in the Australian and international beef industries.

Australian Wagyu Association president Scott Hughes welcomed Mr Truscott as the body's new chief executive, replacing Steve Bennett.

“Graham brings the skills and experience needed to galvanise the Australian Wagyu industry into action. We are ready for his positive leadership, with genetic development and brand protection high on the agenda,” Mr Hughes said.

“With leading Australian restaurants and the Japanese market and many other international outlets queuing for highly marbled Australian Wagyu beef product, our members are keen to ensure the true Wagyu quality is maintained as supply expands,” he said.

Born and raised in the Gippsland dairy and beef industry, Mr Truscott graduated with a Bachelor of Science before pursuing a career in information technology with Federal and State governments.  As a senior executive he followed his love of agriculture through a lengthy term  as CEO of Angus Australia.

He then switched to the sheep industry for three years, focussing on commercialisation and adoption as deputy chief executivewith the CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation.

“Australian Wagyu has enormous potential to add real value to the beef industry,” Mr Truscott said. 

“The bar has definitely been raised by Wagyu’s exceptional eating quality. Consumers have experienced Japan’s ‘national treasure’ and are demonstrating a new willingness to pay where such premium quality is offered. Our challenge is to ensure the elite eating experience is maintained wherever Wagyu is promoted.”

Mr Truscott will work with the Agricultural Business Research Institute at the University of New England in Armidale NSW, which specialises in genetic analysis and improvement, servicing a wide range of breeds nationally and internationally.

Industry sources suggest there has been considerable discord within AWA membership and board ranks in recent times over policy issues, particularly those surrounding the development of minimum standards for brand identification.

In other Wagyu industry news, the Australian Wagyu Association has implemented a Breed Object selection index for the first time, with the release of a Fullblood Feedlot Index during June.

There have been a number of modifications made to the manner in which EBVs are calculated for the carcase attributes of Wagyu animals within the Wagyu Group BreedPlan analysis, with Estimated Breeding Values for Eye Muscle Area, Rib Fat, Rump Fat and Intramuscular Fat now being analysed and reported as genetic differences in a standard 300kg steer carcase.

Previously, the carcase EBVs were analysed on an age basis and reported as genetic differences at 500 days of age. In addition, Retail Beef Yield EBVs will now be calculated for
Wagyu animals. These modifications were implemented in the March 2012 Wagyu Group Breedplan analysis and bring the reporting of EBVs for the carcase traits of Wagyu animals
into line with the BreedPlan analyses for other breeds.

Meanwhile, Japan's NHK tenevision network has recently aired a news segment about the growth in Wagyu beef production in Australia, following an earlier production team visit. To view an English-language version of the NHK World report, click here.   




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