Limousin Youth Educational Conference 2016 – Dubbo

On the 28th of April 2016 we saw 17 students attend the Limousin Youth Educational Conference in Dubbo. Students travelled all the way from Port Macquarie, Parkes, Gilgandra, Narromine and Dubbo.

The day kicked off at the Troy Saleyards in Dubbo with a talk and tour of the saleyards by Ross McCarthy and Peter Brain. Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets is the largest saleyards facility in the nation in terms of combined sheep and cattle throughput with more than 1.3 million sheep and 200,000 cattle sold each year. It has been operating for more than 65 years. Mr McCarthy and Mr Brain went through the Effluent Treatment processes. Students then had a short break for morning tea. After morning tea Mr Brett Littler from the Local Land services at Mudgee gave a talk about visual assessment in the yards of commercial cattle. His talk included muscle scoring, fat scoring, welfare scoring and cattle markets.

After Mr Littler’s talk a coach pick the collective group up and travelled to the Dubbo Meat and Seafood Centre. On arrival at the Meat Centre students were introduced to the owner/operator Mr Mark Knaggs and students were given a run down on the businesses production system and the processing of beef cattle at the centre. Afterwards students were visually shown some of the processes being undertaken on the day. Mr Littler also talked and showed his expertise in the judging of the beef cattle carcases in the chillers, going through; measurement of P8 and rib fat, measuring the eye muscle area, meat colour, fat colour, muscle score, ossification and intra muscular fat. Students were able to see the visual experience of how to visually assess a carcass. The Coach then picked up and transferred students to St Johns College Agriculture Farm.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Mr Ben Toll the Agriculture Coordinator of St Johns College Dubbo. Mr Toll and Mr Littler went through a steer assessment program comparing muscularity and the degree of finish. This segment was split in to a theoretical section going through the science behind muscle scoring and fat scoring followed by a practical assessment with two exhibition steers being fat scanned.

This educational program was followed by a BBQ lunch cooked by St Johns College parents Kylie Lydford, Ivette Labib and David Knaggs.

After lunch Mr Littler went through Beef Cattle Markets such as light butcher, domestic, heavy domestic, EU and grass fed markets and the projects that he has been a part of. One project he was a part of was the beef spec calculator, this calculator is used to project what market cattle will fit into. The beef spec calculator estimates which market a producer or feedlot wishes to end up fitting into to maximise their profits. Mr Littler shared his expertise in the cattle industry with the Limousin Youth Educational Conference. This knowledge and experience is invaluable in teaching future beef leaders.

The Limousin Youth Association greatly appreciate the contribution and time given to students of the Educational Conference by Mr McCarthy, Mr Brain, Mr Littler and Mr Ben Toll. They would also thank Mr Mark Knaggs of the Dubbo Meat and Seafood Centre for allowing students to visit his business and see a working butcher shop in action. They also extended a thank you to St Johns College for the use of their Agriculture facilities during the conference.