Top grain and grassfed cattle producers recognised in annual MSA eating quality awards

Beef Central, 26/09/2023

SUPERIOR and consistent eating quality performance has been recognised in the 2023 Meat Standards Australia Excellence awards released by Meat & Livestock Australia today.

The awards recognise producers from across the country who consistently deliver beef of superior eating quality, based on compliance rates and Index performance under the MSA program.

MSA is based on more than 1.7 million taste tests judging tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking by more than 250,000 consumers from 13 countries. It considers the factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to plate.

MSA program manager David Packer said the awards recognised beef producers and lotfeeders in each state who have achieved outstanding results in a large field of tough competition.

“This is the twenty-fifth year of the MSA program, and in that time, it has become the world-leading eating quality grade program for Australian red meat,” Dr Packer said.

“It is a key driving force behind the quality of Australian red meat, so these awards are a prestigious achievement for the producers.

“Each winner has achieved high eating quality performance for MSA graded cattle during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 financial years, and supplied consistent MSA cattle within the top 50 percentile for that state and feed type,” Dr Packer said.

“These are the best of the best when it comes to producing consistently outstanding beef.”

The awards in each state are divided into three categories, for grainfed, and larger and smaller grassfed producers, based on consignment volumes.

One of the trends evident this year is the growing number of Wagyu carcases being MSA-graded, with three of the five grainfed state winners below – Stockyard QLD, Stone Axe Pastoral WA, and Hells Gate NSW all feeding Wagyu cattle.

Beef Central asked for MSA compliance rates and average MSA index scores for each of the winners, some of which  set out below.

High performance

Within the larger-consignment grassfed category, state winners produced MSA compliance rates ranging from 96.7pc (Ardsley Pastoral, NSW) to an incredible 100pc (KS & GN Johnston, Tasmania), indicating that not one beast across the two-year period fell out of MSA specs.

The Ardsley Pastoral MSA cattle from NSW produced an average MSA index of 65.16, on a state average last year of 59.45; while Tasmania’s Johnston family produced an average MSA index of 63.62 on a state average of 59.88.

In other states, James Pearson from Bull Creek, Taroom topped the Queensland standings with 98.3pc compliance and an average MSA Index of 61.02; Graham Ayres Livestock from Bornholm topped the WA standings with 99.6pc compliance and an average MSA Index of 66.33 on a state average of 60.5; and Karen Beecher from Mumford & Sons, Crystalbrook topped the Victorian figures with an index average of 63.51 on a state average of 59.62.


Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer – Feedlot

Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producers – larger consignment numbers

Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producers – smaller consignment numbers


Source: MLA


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  1. Russell Pearson, 26/09/2023

    Would like to mention that the Bull Creek steers are purebred Santa Gertrudis bred at McKinlay or Blackall and finished at Dawsonvale Taroom, all certified Organic

    Editor’s note: We’re planning to do a profile on the production history behind some of this year’s winners.

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