ENTRIES are now open for one of the country's most prestigious beef hoof and hook competitions.
The RNA's Paddock to Palate competition will return in 2023 for its 26th year and will offer $55,000 in total prize money.
Attracting some of the country's best cattle producers, the competition not only allows entrants to compete for glory but also provides invaluable data to benchmark their stock, not just against other competitors, but also against their own cattle.
A variety of breeds are entered into the competition and entries for the JBS Australia's 2024 Wagyu Challenge are also now open.
Highlighting the diversity of the 2022 competition was the fact Palgrove, Yugilbar and The Grove all achieved victories with Charolais-Angus cross, Santa Gertrudis and Shorthorn entries respectively.
Paddock to Palate features three classes, including 100-day export, 70-day trade and 100-day Hormone Growth Promotant free export.
The Smithfield Cattle Co's Sapphire Feedlot at Yelarbon will once again host the Wagyu Challenge, while JBS' Beef City feedlot near Toowoomba will host the other categories and each class will be comprised of three phases, including best aggregate weight gain, a carcase competition and a MSA eating quality competition.
The Wagyu Challenge will also include a taste-off judged by some of Queensland's best chefs, making it a four phased competition.
The exhibitor who polls the highest aggregate score across all phases will be awarded the overall prize at the Paddock to Palate Beef Awards dinner presented by JBS Australia during the 2023 Royal Queensland Show's Beef Week.
RNA beef committee chair Gary Noller said Paddock to Palate was one of the most popular events on the calendar for many operators.
"Our competition offers more phases and more areas of detailed data than any other beef supply chain competition in the country," Mr Noller said.
"For the beef taste-off phase of the Wagyu Challenge, everything is done to protocol following Meat Standards Australia and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries standards, so we know each piece of Wagyu is cooked exactly the same to be judged.
"That same sort of integrity is applied to each phase of the competition across all classes, so the weight gain and carcase phases are commercially relevant and updated regularly to meet carcase specifications and reflect what the demand is in the commercial industry."
Long-time exhibitor and Texas Angus stud principal Ben Mayne, Warialda, NSW, said the competition was ideal for understanding how to produce commercially-relevant cattle.
"The RNA Paddock to Palate competition is an excellent commercially relevant feeder/carcase competition that allows us to benchmark our Angus cattle against some of the best seedstock and commercial operators in Australia," he said.
"We use the competition results in our marketing to show our Queensland clientele, and in the last couple of years we've had people come back to us and say since we're obviously performing where they need to be, they want to use our genetics.
"People see our estimated breeding values and then see what we've done in the competition and they know it's not just all about figures, it's actually proven performance as well and we've had some pretty big pastoral companies come on board as a result."
Entries close January 27. To enter visit ekka.com.au/competitions
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