Commercial cattle are traditionally an important part of any Agricultural Show. In 1983 the change from a Fat Steer exhibition to a more market focussed competition was made, with the aim of educating producers about the requirements of the local and export markets that they supply. Farmers can benchmark their cattle on both hoof and hook, and discuss the results with other producers, the processor and customers at the prize presentation.
The close cooperation of our local processor, Greenham Tasmania, is vital and the weight and fat depth specifications for both show classes are the same as those required by the high quality markets that Greenham have developed for grass-fed beef.
The competition is run in the Beef Australia format, with entries received in pens of three cattle in two classes. Many exhibitors who have entered Beef Australia will be familiar with the group entry format, which better reflects the quality of their herd and their ability to select consistently to the required specifications.
The entered cattle are assessed on Show Day by a guest judge, who determines which entries could best match the specifications once they are processed. Prizes and trophies are awarded to the top three in each class, and a Show Champion is also selected. The cattle are then held together on a farm near the Greenham plant for 30 days to comply with the national eating quality grading system (MSA). This places the entries on a level basis and removes the effects of feed, travel and other stresses.
In early January the cattle are processed, then measured using the MSA judging system (ABCAS) by trained assessors at the Greenham plant. Each entry is assessed for meat and fat colour, fat depth, eye muscle area, marbling, pH, and ossification (a measure of carcase maturity). Combined with the weight and age of the animal, a score /100 is calculated, and prizes and trophies awarded to the best performing entries.
The competition usually attracts around 70 entries and awards over $6000 worth of prizes. It has the reputation of being the best grass finished cattle competition in Australia.
For more information:
Chief Steward Robin Medwin (0474 630006) or John Bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org)