Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate gears up for 2021 competition

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Visitors at the 2017 Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge Field Day inspected the cattle which were in the WA lot-fed competition.
Camera IconVisitors at the 2017 Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge Field Day inspected the cattle which were in the WA lot-fed competition. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant Picture: Bob Garnant

The Great Southern will host WA’s only beef supply chain competition open day on Saturday at the Mount Barker Regional Saleyards.

In its seventh year, the 2021 Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge will hold its first event to allow visitors to view the 62 inducted teams of cattle involved in this year’s competition.

The cattle teams are made up of two steers and one heifer from each participant.

All the cattle teams will be owner-bred, with the exception of teams from WA agriculture schools, from farms between Geraldton and Esperance.

Event co-ordinator Sheena Smith, below, said the challenge aimed to reflect as closely as possible the real-life situation of cattle entering the grain-fed, Meat Standards Australia-graded domestic supply chain in WA.

“Participants receive detailed feedback on individual and group animal performance at each stage of the supply chain throughout the competition,” she said.

“Cattle breeders are able to compare the performance of their own cattle against others on a level playing field and assess the suitability of their breeding for the intended market.”

Mrs Smith said competition cattle would receive points for objective, measurable performance traits which were important for profitability at each stage of the supply chain.

“The overall winning team is the one which is most profitable through the supply chain,” she said.

“In our seventh year, participants have gained a better understanding of feeding cattle and consumer expectations for retail beef.

“The winners will be announced at the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate gala awards in May or June.”

Last year, a pair of Limousin cattle farmers from Boyanup scooped the top prize.

Kevin and Sue Nettleton took out the most profitable award at the sixth annual Challenge with their team of two steers and one heifer of Apricot Limousin cattle.

The pair accepted the award at a presentation at Le Grande Motel in Albany, in front of dozens of peers and industry figureheads.

Mrs Smith said participants would be able to view their cattle as they progress through the challenge at the March 23 field day, to be followed by the School’s Challenge on March 24, both to be held at Willyung Farms feedlot, near Albany.

“The challenge starts Saturday 16/01 with animals congregating at Mount Barker Regional Saleyards before being weighed and transported to the feedlot to begin their grain-fed ration,” she said.

“Cattle are fed for 80 to 87 days before being processed at Harvey Beef where the carcasses are MSA graded.”

The open day begins at noon and lunch will be available with funds supporting Regional Men’s Health.

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