DEMAND for Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition graduates had never been better, ICMJ Association president Dr Peter Gilchrist said this week.
The five-day Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition will be held at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, from July 5, with Teys Australia hosting the final competition.
In its 27th consecutive year, the event has attracted 140 students and 36 coaches from across the world, including participants from 10 Australian universities and 4 international colleges. The international contingent includes the Japan National team, the Korea National team, Bogor University, Indonesia and Garden City Community College from the USA will also be in attendance.
Dr McGilchrist said as demand for Australian products continued to grow around the world, the career opportunities for graduates grew stronger, especially for those with intimate whole-of-supply-chain familiarity.
“The growth of the ICMJ program going into its 27th year continues to bring graduates and businesses together and demand for ICMJ graduates has never been better, given that agriculture is currently seen as one of the large growth industries.
“ICMJ not only provides students with a greater knowledge of meat judging and the attributes of trimness, muscling and quality that make up the evaluation process, it also provides students with the skills of decision making and justification,” he said.
“The program continues to provide industry leaders through its graduates, now in the thousands, and continues to be highly regarded within the industry during recruitment.”
The vision of the annual ICMJ program in laying a strong foundations for agricultural industries by educating and injecting enthusiastic graduates into a range of diversified careers in the meat and livestock sector is backed by Meat & Livestock Australia, the Australian Meat Processors Corporation and Australian Pork Limited.
The ICMJ Association said participants in the intuitive program get a unique insight into the meat and livestock supply chains through addresses from key industry figures, including AMPC program manager Estelle Lifran, Lambpro director Tom Bull, Murdoch University Professsor Dr Dave Pethick, SunPork Solutions research and innovation general manager Darryl D’Souza and Wonga Plains Feedlot manager Bryce Camm.
The ICMJ program includes presentations, interactive workshops, meat judging training and a contest involving the judging of lamb, pork and beef carcasses and primals. Ten finalists will be selected to undertake a five-day Meat Standards Australia training course in Brisbane. Five of these students will be selected to take part in a month-long industry tour of the United States livestock production, meat processing, meat research and meat grading system sectors, while also competing at an international level.
Dr McGilchrist said the response to this year’s program from universities, presenters and sponsors was an indication of the value ICMJ delivers to the industry.
“This year’s program not only has an impressive line-up of speakers but industry support through sponsorship has been stronger than ever.
“Without industry support, the program would not be able to expose these students to the exciting opportunities and challenges within our industry.”
Universities involved in the program include University of New England, Tocal Agricultural College, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, University of Adelaide, Murdoch University, Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Garden City Community College USA, Japan National team, Korea National Team, Bogor Agricultural University Indonesia.
Full program and other information available at www.icmj.com.au