ENTRIES are now open for the Australian Wagyu Association's Wagyu branded beef competition for 2020.
The only branded beef competition supported by a breed association, the competition celebrates fullblood, crossbred and commercial classes.
In addition to gold, silver and bronze medals for each category, champion awards will be awarded to the highest scoring entry in each category. The highest scoring category champion will be awarded the Grand Champion award.
Judging of the Wagyu beef is based on five criteria: visual appeal (raw and cooked), juiciness, flavour, aroma and the physical sensation in your mouth. Last year saw the highest scores ever achieved within the competition, across all categories of entry, with the judges remarking at the consistently outstanding quality put forward.
Corporate executive chef John Alexander will once again preside at the judging, which this year will take place at Cha Cha Char Wine Bar & Grill, Brisbane on March 17, 2020 and the winners announced at the annual conference WagyuEdge 2020 Gala Dinner, to be held Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, from April 31 until May 2.
Entry forms can be completed through the AWA Branded Beef Competition website.
Entries close 14 February, 2020.
Leading the way
NSW seedstock producer Mike Buchanan has taken on the job of president of the Australian Wagyu Association.
With his wife Maggie, Mr Buchanan runs Ginjo Wagyu, a fullblood seedstock and feeder operation which commenced in 1998, on properties in the Tea Gardens and Gloucester areas.
Joining up to 200 fullblood cows in good years, their aim is to replicate leading Japanese sires and target early growth, carcase weight, marbling and maternal traits. Ginjo genetics and live exports have achieved global success since 2008.
The AWA annual general meeting was held on November 25, heralding in the release of the new strategic plan 2020-2025 which sets the guidelines for business operations for the board and staff to support, promote and advance the production of Wagyu.
The office bearers of the AWA board for the 2019-20 period are: president Mike Buchanan, senior vice president John Spreadborough, junior vice president Sharon Oates and treasurer Charles Perry.
Newly-appointed board directors are Dean Pollard and Gina Lincoln, while Mr Spreadborough was re-elected.
Mr Buchanan has been on the AWA Board since 2014.
"In 2020 my AWA focus will be on the continuing improvement of our suite of estimated breeding values, indexes and other selection tools," he said.
"Plus a new strategic emphasis on measuring and maintaining genetic diversity in the Australian Japanese Black herd."
Gina Lincoln is a well-respected consultant to the beef industry, who has extensive experience in feedlot management and fullblood herds, having spent 12 years as general manager of Peechelba Beef Feedlot and seven years with Blackmore Wagyu overseeing the breeding, feeding and operations of the company.
She has extensive board experience having served with the Australian Lot Feeders' Association, Pfizer Animal Health Board and is the current Southern Campdraft president.
Dean Pollard is synonymous with Sahara Park Wagyu, breeding fullblood genetics for the past five years and a member of the AWA since 2012.