The Intercollegiate Meat Judging Northern Conference and Competition will return to Rockhampton again next year, after a successful inaugural event.
The conference is designed to enhance the training of red meat industry participants working in Northern Australia and is open to students at universities and vocational training organisations, as well as agribusiness staff looking for professional development opportunities.
This year marked the ICMJ's first-ever northern conference and now it's been locked into the beef capital's calendar for a second time from April 15-18, 2020.
The competition joined ICMJ's other major competition, held annually in Wagga Wagga, NSW.
But where Wagga Wagga competitors also have to assess sheepmeat and pork products, for the Queensland-based competition, beef took centre stage.
Event coordinator Ethan Mooney, of Teys Australia, said the 2019 event was attended by more than 80 people, and proved such a success that the conference and training program will be expanded by an extra day in 2020.
"The purpose of the conference and meat judging competition is to build the pool of intelligent young meat industry representatives through a competitive learning environment," he said.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to build the capacity in the northern beef industry and for young agriculture students to gain new skills as well as network with potential employers and future industry colleagues."
Intercollegiate meat judging was established in 1927 by meat science professors in the United States and has since grown to encompass major events in agricultural education calendars around the world, including Australia, where a competition was first held in 1990.
The Australian ICMJ program exposes students to the fundamentals of meat quality, carcase specifications required in today's market, the requirements of the modern consumer and the role of new technologies.
CQUniversity agriculture spokesman Michael Thomson said cementing ICMJ as an annual event on the calendar would enhance Rockhampton's reputation and grow its role as the northern beef industry's prime location for educating future leaders.
"Hosting ICMJ is a significant investment by CQUniversity in growing the capacity of the local meat processing sector, providing a recruitment pipeline to retain local graduates and attract skilled graduates to the region," he said.
As well as the training workshops and the meat judging competition, the program will feature a careers fair with Australia's major meat processing companies, a number of the large vertically integrated beef supply chains and industry service providers.
Next year's event will again be hosted by major sponsors CQUniversity Australia and Teys Australia.