Queensland beef producers who consistently deliver beef of superior eating quality were recognised last week at the 2022 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Excellence in Eating Quality Awards in Roma.
Hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), 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 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve the consistency of eating quality of beef and sheepmeat. The system is based on almost 1.2 million taste tests by more than 171,000 consumers from 11 countries and takes into account all factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to plate.
Stockyard Lot Feeders Pty Ltd, Jondaryan, was awarded Most Outstanding MSA Feedlot in Queensland. During 2019-21, 78.2% of all cattle consigned to MSA from Queensland were classified as grainfed.
Cattle from feedlots accredited under the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) and that were eligible for Australian Grainfed Standards were included in this award category.
Rod, Kylie, Tori and Kaitlin Apelt, Collingwood Pastoral Company, Tara, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 1), which recognises producers turning off large MSA consignment volumes from any non-feedlot operation.
John and Karol Wilkes, Pittsworth, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 2), which recognises producers turning off smaller MSA consignment volumes from any non-feedlot accredited operation.
Max and Mona Ballantyne, Hardenley Pty Ltd, Gin Gin, won the MSA Progress Award for showing the greatest improvement across all feed types in their MSA results since the last Awards series in 2019.
A new award was also presented this year for the highest scoring MSA Index for a carcase in each state. The Champion MSA Index Carcase for Queensland was won by the McNamee family, Lemontree Feedlot, Millmerran.
MSA Program Manager, Dr David Packer, congratulated the Award winners and finalists.
“This year’s Queensland winners won their awards from a field comprising more than 2,850 MSA-registered producers in Queensland who consigned cattle to the program in 2019-21,” Dr Packer said.
“More than 3.4 million MSA cattle were consigned from Queensland producers in 2019-21, representing 49% of all MSA graded cattle in Australia.
“Throughout Australia, more than 15,000 MSA-registered producers consigned over 7.1 million cattle to the MSA program during the 2019-21 period.”
Dr Packer said the achievements of MSA-registered producers in Queensland reflected the ongoing improvements they are making to raise the eating quality of their cattle, boost the value of the beef industry, and ultimately meet consumer expectations.
“The online myMSA portal is one of the tools available to MSA-registered producers to continually improve the performance of their cattle,” Dr Packer said.
“Using carcase feedback, the myMSA portal allows producers to comprehensively benchmark the performance of their herd against the regional, state and national average, and by selecting for different production groups and carcase traits, such as feed type, hormonal growth promotant (HGP) status, sex, and ossification.”
To be eligible for the MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards, an MSA producer must have supplied volume (MSA cattle) in the top 50% percentile for that state and feed type; had at least average compliance rate for the state; and consigned MSA cattle at least once per year (2019-20 and 2020-21).