MOUNT Pleasant beef producer Angus McLachlan was named South Australia’s ‘MSA Producer of the Year’ at the inaugural MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards in Hahndorf last night.
The Awards recognise the state’s top producers who have achieved outstanding compliance rates to the Meat Standards Australia specifications for cattle MSA graded during 2014-15.
Mr McLachlan turns off between 100 and 115 grassfed vealers to the MSA program annually from his property, Rosebank, in the Adelaide Hills.
He won the MSA title from a field comprising almost 800 registered producers in South Australia who consigned cattle during the 2014-15 financial year. The other SA finalists for the award were Wayne Barton, from Normanville, and James & Angela Schutz from Hindmarsh Valley.
MSA producer engagement officer Jarrod Lees said the MSA data showed the quality of beef from Mr McLachlan’s cattle was consistently high.
“Angus and his team are producing grassfed vealers, and the ossification scores are low because the animals are quite young and the calves are growing at a nice steady rate, so nutritionally, they’re not compromised,” Mr Lees said.
“The marbling produced by these cattle is also good, which contributes to the beef being really juicy, full of flavour and what customers want.”
Ossification is a measure of the physiological maturity of the beef carcase, and eating quality declines as ossification increases. While ossification increases as the animal ages, it can also increase with nutritional or health stress.
Marbling is measured using MSA marbling standards and reflects the amount as well as distribution of intramuscular fat, which has a positive impact on juiciness and flavour of beef.
To be eligible for the awards, a producer’s annual MSA-graded volume had to be in the top 50th percent for the state they were produced in.
Each producer that met the eligibility criteria received a score out of 100 weighted on two factors – the compliance to MSA minimum requirements, and eating quality performance as determined by the MSA Index for cattle consigned to MSA in 2014-15.
The Awards aim to raise awareness of best management practice from producers who consistently deliver superior eating quality beef ultimately for the benefit of consumers and for the profitability of the industry.
The MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards are being held throughout Australia in conjunction with a ‘Future of Eating Quality’ forum in each state.
- Click this link to view a production case study on Angus McLachlan’s operation.
- The South Australian awards and seminar follow similar earlier gatherings in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. The last remaining event in the MSA awards circuit will be the Western Australian event: Thursday, 14 April, 2-8pm, Lighthouse Beach Resort, Carey Street, Bunbury.