Challenge a chance for information and prizes
WA’s only beef supply chain competition, now in its sixth year, is set to kick off on January 11 with an inspection opportunity at the Mount Barker Regional Saleyards.
The 2020 Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge, with more than $14,000 in prizes, will contest 66 teams of WA-bred cattle through the Willyung Farms feedlot, at Albany, before being processed at Harvey Beef. Challenge event co-ordinator Sheen Smith said entry numbers remained strong, on par with last year, and were widespread throughout the State with encouraging feedback from past entrants and industry participants.
“The Challenge was designed to represent commercial reality with cattle assessed on their objective traits and measured in terms of their profitability and efficiency throughout the supply chain,” she said.
“At the conclusion of the competition, we award and hand participants measured data results on their cattle in terms of feeding performance, processing performance and Meat and Live-stock Australia grading.”
Ms Smith said the cattle teams must consist of two steers and one heifer and must be owner bred and be hormone growth promotants free.”
“The challenge, which included a school contest, provides producers and students with information to take back to the farm and use as a benchmark.”
WA College of Agriculture Harvey assistant farm manager Ian Millichamp said the Challenge was a great opportunity for students to learn some very important practical skills in the beef industry.
“After being awarded the school with the most points in the 2019 Challenge, we have stepped up our level of participation in 2020 with two teams of cattle, including our first team of Euro cross Angus,” he said.
“Our students take pride in being involved in the competition and it offers them the opportunity to talk with industry people on a professional level.”
Mr Millichamp said the students got a firsthand look at the variety of cattle breeds put through the Challenge feedlot and were able to visually compare the differences in feed conversion performance.
“As a result of the school’s participation, we have introduced terminal sires into our predominately Angus cattle breeding program to bring in an element of hybrid vigour into the calves,” he said.
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