Vet student to represent Australia on meat judging tour

September 9, 2016

Veterinary student Olivia Swan will represent Australia on a meat judging tour of  the United States.A Murdoch University veterinary student has earned a coveted place on the 2016 Australian Meat Judging team in January.

Olivia Swan is one of five students traveling to the United States for a four week industry tour and to compete in three American meat judging competitions.

Olivia earned her place in the international team after 20 students received an exclusive behind-the-scenes meat industry experience in south-east Queensland with the Australian team selectors in August.

Originally getting involved in the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ) to learn from industry leaders, Olivia said she was excited to see the scale of the feed pens and technology in the United States.

“Growing up behind my parents’ veterinary clinic, tagging along for late night call-outs and learning the trade firsthand has inspired me to work with animals,” she said.

“I am particularly interested in welfare and behaviour of large animals and how important stress is on an animal’s performance.”

Murdoch University researcher and ICMJ coach, Dr Sarah Stewart, said that the international trip would enhance Olivia’s skill development, enabling her to become a leader in the rural sector.

“We are extremely proud of Olivia and the trip to the United States will give her greater exposure to the red meat and pork industry, which is important for her future career as a production animal veterinarian,” Dr Stewart said.

ICMJ Australian head coach Demelsa Lollback said being able to judge a carcass was just part of the skills possessed by the gifted and passionate 2016 Australian team.

“As well as being extremely talented, the team all have a passion for the meat industry and strong career aspirations,” she said.

“This year our team possess a great cross-section of industry interest ranging from pork, beef, lamb, processing and livestock production.”

Murdoch University Animal Science students Kristy Walters, Ben Shaw and Lisa McLerie also participated in the industry tour in Queensland during August.

The tour followed on Murdoch’s success at the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association event in July, where the university team ranked third in the nation.

The ICMJ program is sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.

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