Meat Elite Australia -

Breeding for the Future

Meat Elite Australia's annual conference held recently at Rich River, Moama was focused on premium lamb production. The group of sixteen Poll Dorset breeders located across four States are at the forefront of improving the excellent eating qualities of lamb as a source of protein and culinary pleasure.

MEAT%20ELITE%20ATTENDEES%2020220215_185138.JPGMembers of Meat Elite have focused their attention on identifying and breeding superior sheep for the commercial lamb producers for some years. Participation in progeny testing, in-flock genomic testing and MLA sponsored superior eating quality testing programs the members' flocks have provided leading genetics to other breeders and their commercial clients.

During the conference, Will Barton Director of the Gundagai Meat Company spoke about his company's efforts to identify superior carcases with a grid that rewards producers for delivering lamb with ideal yields and Intramuscular fat. Carcases with superior attributes are identified using DEXA and an IMF probe achieving highly accurate results. Meat Elite members were particularly impressed with the comprehensive carcase feedback producers receive from GMC. Chairperson Dale Price said, “the quality of feedback, once replicated by other processors will significantly influence breeding programs across the industry.”

Dr. Alex Ball keynote speaker spoke about similar initiatives in other industries such as beef and the fishing sector. Drawing on consultancy experience to government, the corporate sector and as a breeder and farmer, Dr. Ball challenged members to continue their engagement in research and development. He also touched on the challenges faced by meat producing industries by pseudo meat products and how best breeders and producers can meet these challenges.

Dr. Ball's address was titled 'Ten Years On'. He had been a strong advocate and adviser for Meat Elite through his leadership of Sheep Genetics. Peta Bradley, newly appointed Sheep Genetics Manager, supported by Dr. Daniel Brown AGBU provided a current perspective on their service delivery to the sheep industry and an insight on promoting genetic gain reinforcing Dr. Ball's comments.

Meat Elite members committed their next research project to identifying the next generation of superior eating quality sires for the Australian industry. With the project designed to conclude before next year's conference so members can analyse the data produced to drive further advances in the sector.