Downs producers top Queensland’s MSA performance awards

Beef Central, 11/09/2019

Stevie-Lee Wayman, livestock manager at Kerwee feedlot


GRAIN and grassfed beef producers from across Queensland’s Darling Downs region have taken out the top awards at the 2019 Meat Standards Australia Excellence in Eating Quality Awards for the State, presented in Biloela last night.

Hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia, the Awards recognise beef producers who have achieved outstanding compliance rates to MSA specifications, as well as high eating quality performance, as represented by MSA Index results for MSA graded cattle during the past two financial years.

Kerwee Feedlot, Jondaryan, was awarded Most Outstanding MSA Feedlot in Queensland. During 2017-19, 62pc of all cattle consigned to MSA from Queensland were classified as grainfed.

Cattle from feedlots accredited under the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme and that were eligible for Australian Grainfed Standards were included in this award category. Click here for more details and video about Kerwee Feedlot.

Brownleigh Pastoral Co, Goondiwindi, owned and operated by the Burey family, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 1), which recognises producers turning off large MSA consignment volumes from non-feedlot operations. Click here for more details and video about Brownleigh Pastoral Co.

Kaylene Wonka, Blue Poles, Chinchilla, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 2), which recognises producers turning off smaller MSA consignment volumes from non-feedlot accredited operations. Brownleigh Pastoral Co and Kaylene Wonka won their awards from a field comprising 3000 registered producers in Queensland who consigned MSA cattle during 2017-19. Click here for more details and video about Kaylene Wonka’s business.

RMI Pty Ltd, Goondiwindi, won the MSA Progress Award for showing the greatest improvement in MSA results since the last Awards series in 2017. Click here for more details about RMI.

Similar awards will be held across all Australian states in coming days and weeks – see list of dates and venues below.

MSA program manager Sarah Strachan

MSA Program Manager Sarah Strachan said producers were to be congratulated for their commitment to producing beef that consistently achieved exceptional compliance rates to MSA’s specifications and delivered a superior eating experience to consumers, particularly in the face of ongoing challenging seasonal conditions.

“MSA-registered producers receive ongoing feedback on their livestock, accessible through myMSA, to help them continuously improve the performance of their cattle and eating quality. All of the winners and finalists are taking notice of that feedback to achieve results,” Ms Strachan said.

“All of the winners and finalists are taking notice of that feedback to achieve results.

“myMSA also offers producers the ability to benchmark their performance against other producers in the State and use tools to calculate how they can improve their MSA Index by making on-farm changes.

“Throughout Australia, more than 15,000 producers consigned over 6.6 million cattle to the MSA program throughout the 2017-18 and 2018-19 period.”

To be eligible for the awards, a producer’s annual MSA-graded volume had to be equal to or above the average volume consigned for the state in which they were produced, and had to consign at least once in each financial year.

Each producer that met the eligibility criteria received a score out of 100 weighted on two factors – compliance to MSA minimum requirements, and eating quality performance as determined by the MSA Index for cattle consigned to MSA in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years.

The MSA Awards aim to raise awareness of best management practice from producers who consistently deliver superior eating quality beef in their state ultimately for the benefit of consumers and for the profitability of the industry.

MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve eating quality consistency.  The system is based on almost 800,000 consumer taste tests and takes into account all factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to the plate.


MSA Excellence in Eating Quality forums and awards itinerary for other states:

  • New South Wales: Thursday 12 Sept 1:30pm-8:30pm Wagga Wagga RSL
  • Victoria: Tuesday 17 September 1:30pm-8:30pm Vineyard Room Glen Erin at Lancefield
  • Tasmania: Thursday 19 September 1:30pm-8:30pm Bushrangers Hotel, Top Pub Wynyard
  • South Australia: Tuesday 1 October 1:30pm-8:30pm Naracoorte Town Hall
  • Western Australia: Thursday 3 October 1:30pm-8:30pm Eden Grove Manning Function Centre, Harvey

Details, including registration for attendance at the MSA event in your state, can be accessed here.




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  1. Ian Wells OAM, 11/09/2019

    I am a strong proponent of the MSA system – it is one of the best things to ever come out of MRC/MLA, and it is a great credit to Dr Tony Gordon, the responsible MRC teamleader of the day, and to the researchers who worked on it.
    So I am bitterly disappointed that some commercial hiccup means that Woolworths (in our neck of the woods anyway) no longer stocks MSA beef. To have a major supermarket chain reject the system is a serious setback. I hope that can be resolved and that steps are being taken to do so.

    Thanks for your comment, Ian. As of October last year, Woolworths no long displays the MSA identity on its retail packs, for its own commercial reasons, but continues to subscribe to, and vigorously support the MSA program. Here is a link to an earlier article on the topic Editor

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