Entries have opened for the RNA’s ‘Paddock to Palate’ competition and ‘Wagyu Challenge’, this year’s big winner Ken McKenzie is encouraging other cattle producers to join the contest.
Four months after being crowned the overall winner in 100-day export category of the three stage competition, Mr McKenzie said the benefits of quality feedback on their cattle was very valuable.
“It was our first time entering the competition and it was fantastic having so much success,” he said.
“It’s important in this type of competition to have good yielding, middle of the road cattle, but the key to real success is having fertile, adaptable females who can produce an article that can win a competition like Paddock to Palate.”
The McKenzie family’s winning beast was a Droughtmaster/Limousin-cross steer with Droughtmaster genetics from their Yaralla Droughtmaster Stud near Blackwater.
Mr McKenzie noted cattle being entered in the competition must be on a rising plain of nutrition.
The McKenzie family’s success in the 2017 ‘Paddock to Palate’ competition came among 800 head of cattle entries.
The ‘Paddock to Palate’ and ‘Wagyu Challenge’ competition has also won its own award taking out the ‘Best Agricultural Exhibitor Event’ trophy at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Awards.
Entries for the ‘Paddock to Palate’ competition must be received by Friday January 19.
The competition is capped at 777 head of cattle for the 100-day class 37 and 518 head for 70-day class 38 with producers encouraged to get in early.
The ‘Wagyu Challenge’ entries are also now open and Wagyu cattle must be a minimum 50 per cent Wagyu blood. Entries for this must be in by April 20 next year with the overall winner to be crowned in August 2019.
A total of $56,000 in prize money is up for grabs in next year’s Royal Queensland Show competition.
The ‘Paddock to Palate’ cattle competition comprises awards for best aggregate weight gain, a carcass competition and an MSA eating quality award. An overall winner for all three phases of the competition is also awarded for the export and trade categories sponsored by Mort & Co.
RNA beef cattle committee chairman, Gary Noller, said the competitions allow the nation’s top beef producers to benchmark their genetics.
“Each year the exhibitors are looking at results from the Paddock to Palate Competition and Wagyu Challenge to improve their genetics through their commercial and stud operations,” Mr Noller said.
“They not only benchmark against others in the competition, but they benchmark their sires and genetics in their own herds.
“A win in Paddock to Palate means a big boost to a beef producer’s brand and the RNA is very proud to acknowledge the efforts of these hard working primary producers.”
The feedlot phase of both the Paddock to Palate Competition and Wagyu Challenge will be held at Mort & Co’s Grassdale Feedlot in Dalby.