Second-year Animal Science student Courtney O’Sullivan has taken out the individual champion title at the 2013 Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association Competition.
Held in Wagga Wagga, NSW from July 9 to 13, the competition saw 130 students from nine Australian universities and teams from South Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan and the US compete across a range of categories.
Students judged beef, lamb and pork carcasses, beef and pork primal cuts and had to identify wholesale beef primal cuts and beef, lamb and pork retail cuts.
Ms O’Sullivan, originally from Esperance, took home the Teys Australia Founders Buckle after scoring 1086 points out of a possible 1255, besting her nearest rival by 11 points.
She said the win was the culmination of a great five days at the event.
“Beyond the competition, industry professionals gave lectures and workshops to help us improve our skills and knowledge. Having grown up riding horses, it was really great to see another side of the agriculture sector,” Ms O’Sullivan said.
“The win has certainly motivated me to keep going in the field. I’m hoping to do some work experience this year and come back to help coach Murdoch’s team next year.”
Ms O’Sullivan and nine others on the Murdoch team spent the past two months attending extracurricular workshops at the University and honing their skills at Goodchild Meat Trading in Hamilton Hill.
Murdoch coach Dr Peter McGilchrist said students working hard to improve their skills would benefit both industry and consumers.
“The judging of carcasses is based around trimness, muscling and quality. Trimness and muscling affect the retail yield of a carcass which drives profitability, while quality, assessed by looking at traits like marbling, are very important for improving the eating quality for consumers,” Dr McGilchrist said.
Coles General Manager Production, Allister Watson, told delegates at the Coles Presentation Awards dinner that it was great to see so much enthusiasm and support for an integral part of the industry.
“Graduates of this program are vital to the industry, helping to deliver the high quality meat that we put on our shelves for our consumers,” he said.
The overall team champion for the competition was Kansas State University.
The Murdoch team was supported by Murdoch Veterinary Trust, Harvey Beef, Linley Valley Pork and the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia.