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The Intercollegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ) Northern Conference and Competition will return to the Beef Capital of Rockhampton in 2020, with dates now in place for its second edition after this year’s successful inaugural event.
The ICMJ Northern Conference will again be hosted by major sponsors CQUniversity Australia and Teys Australia on 15-18 April 2020.
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 for professional development.
ICMJ Northern Conference 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,” Mr Mooney 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 in meeting those needs. Platinum sponsors include Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation (AMPC).
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,” Mr Thomson said.
As well as the training workshops and the meat judging competition, the program will feature a careers fair featuring Australia’s major meat processing companies, a number of the large vertically integrated beef supply chains, and industry service providers.