Pad­dock to plate opened

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

AUSTRALIAN beef pro­duc­ers now have the chance to cash in on al­most $60,000, with en­tries open­ing to­day for the RNA’s Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion pre­sented by Mort & Co and 2018/19 Pad­dock to Palate Wagyu Chal­lenge.

With $46,000 in prize­money on of­fer, the RNA’s 21-year-old Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion is the nation’s rich­est beef com­pe­ti­tion of its kind, while the RNA Wagyu Chal­lenge, which is now in its third year, of­fers $10,000.

The com­pe­ti­tions re­cently ‘steaked’ their claim in­ter­na­tion­ally, tak­ing out best ‘agri­cul­tural ex­hibitor event award, par­tic­i­pa­tion in­cen­tive or re­ten­tion pro­gram’ at the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fairs and Ex­po­si­tions (IAFE) Awards, which rep­re­sents more than 1100 fairs around the world.

The com­pe­ti­tions have long been re­garded as the most com­pre­hen­sive beef sup­ply chain com­pe­ti­tions in the nation, as they fol­low the prod­uct all the way from the pad­dock to the con­sumer.

Al­most 800 head of cat­tle were en­tered into the three phased Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion this year, which com­prises best ag­gre­gate weight gain over 100 days (70 days for trade); a car­cass com­pe­ti­tion and an MSA eat­ing qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion.

The ex­hibitor who polls the high­est ag­gre­gate score across the three cat­e­gories is then awarded the over­all prize at a pre­sen­ta­tion break­fast at the Royal Queens­land Show (Ekka), with this year’s Class 37 (100 days) win­ner Ken and Kerry McKen­zie for their Drought­mas­ter-cross and Class 38 (70 days) win­ner Rob and Kelly Lamoureux for their santa/an­gus/black sim­men­tal.

En­tries for the Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion must be in by Fri­day, Jan­uary 19. The com­pe­ti­tion is capped at 777 head of cat­tle for Class 37 and 518 head for Class 38, so pro­duc­ers are en­cour­aged to get in early.

The Pad­dock to Palate Wagyu Chal­lenge is also wel­com­ing en­tries into its 2018/19 com­pe­ti­tion, to be held across 370 days from May next year. Al­most 120 head of cat­tle were en­tered into the 2017/18 com­pe­ti­tion, which is now at the half­way mark, with the four phased com­pe­ti­tion com­pris­ing best ag­gre­gate weight gain; a car­cass com­pe­ti­tion; car­cass value and fin­ish­ing in a beef taste off.

The in­au­gu­ral 2016/17 win­ner was crowned at this year’s Ekka, with Alan Hoey tak­ing out the ti­tle for his Wagyu F2+.

En­tries for the Pad­dock to Palate Wagyu Chal­lenge must be in by Fri­day, April 20, with the over­all win­ner to be crowned in Au­gust 2019. En­tries are open to Wagyu and Wagyu-cross cat­tle (min­i­mum 50 per cent Wagyu blood), with nom­i­na­tions capped at 259 an­i­mals.

RNA Beef Cat­tle Com­mit­tee Chair­man Gary Noller said the com­pe­ti­tions al­low the nation’s top beef pro­duc­ers to bench­mark their ge­net­ics.

“Each year the ex­hibitors are look­ing at re­sults from the Pad­dock to Palate Com­pe­ti­tion and Wagyu Chal­lenge to im­prove their ge­net­ics through their com­mer­cial and stud op­er­a­tions,” Mr Noller said.

“They not only bench­mark against oth­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion, but they bench­mark their sires and ge­net­ics in their own herds.”

To en­ter the com­pe­ti­tions or for more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.ekka.com.au/ com­pe­ti­tions

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

WIN­NING MOB: Berry Reynolds and Gary Noller walk Yulgilbar Pas­toral Com­pany’s pen of santa gertrudis cross an­gus cat­tle, the win­ners of Class 38 in 2016.

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