Paddock to plate opened
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
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.