In what was a full timetable, WagyuEdge brought together workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities, social events, the charity auction, the record-breaking Elite Wagyu Sale and of course, many dishes of Wagyu.
Following the lunch of Branded Beef Competition Wagyu BBQ, the Elite Wagyu Sale was the final event for the conference and a first for a live and online auction environment.
With around 70 lots, bidding created a number of firsts, including a record sale price for a Poll Wagyu bull at $185,000 and $8,000 for 10 semen straws from Macquarie Wagyu.
In all, the sale topped $1,185,000, more than doubling last year’s results.
To round out the week, a tour of producers in the central highlands region of Queensland provided an opportunity to see firsthand how Wagyu production is optimised, reinforcing the messages of the conference.
Held in Mackay at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, the bonus day on Wednesday gave attendees workshops an in-depth knowledge of nutrition for the full scope of Wagyu production to feedlot entry.
Presented by Riverina Stock Feeds, the first presentation by John Doyle (Integrated Animal Production) covered the nutritional requirements of a cow from conception to calving.
John described the needs of the mother in terms of trace elements, energy and carbohydrates and the effect it has on the health of the calf at birth.
Second speaker, Dr Matthew George (Bovine Dynamics) presented strategies to improve calf weaning weight, lower mortality rates and reduced age of puberty and sale through analysis of quality data surrounding genetics and nutrition.
Dr George pointed out that the ability to achieve high marbling is dependent on the health and management of the calf in its first 250 days.
To round out the progression from conception to feedlot, Phillip Dew (Integrated Animal Production) discussed the nutritional needs to achieve the best results for carcase traits, including balancing some of the finer inputs such as Vitamin A, C and D and trace minerals Zinc, Calcium and Magnesium.
The afternoon session was provided by Practical Systems to give an opportunity for members to learn more about herd data entry into StockBooks.
Conducted in two halls, newcomers were given an introductory workshop while more experienced users had the opportunity to learn a more in-depth approach to manipulating data.
To the sound of Japanese drums and flute, the Welcome Dinner sponsored by Pardoo Meat Company, was a selection of Wagyu dishes designed to showcase the Plate to Paddock theme of the conference and highlight the eating quality attributes across the Wagyu carcase. Cube rolls, brisket, tenderloin, short rib all featured with a multicultural cross-section of flavours.