THIRTEEN Murdoch University animal and veterinary science students have travelled to Charles Sturt University and Teys Australia in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, to compete in the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition (ICMJ).
It was the largest group ever to compete at the event, and came home with many awards.
The Murdoch students were the reserve champion team for beef judging, lamb judging and for an individual beef judging.
They were the reserve champion team for retail cut and primal identification, reserve champion team for question and written reasons and reserve champion individual for retail cut and primal identification.
Three students also made it into the top 15.
From there the students had to judge another class and conduct a presentation.
Reuben Welke and Monica Stipinovich then progressed into the top 10.
The competition attracted 165 students and coaches from 11 Australian universities, plus four international teams from Japan, South Korea, the United States and Indonesia.
Students also had the opportunity to tour the region and industry.
They visited Ashleigh Park feedlot, LambPro, Rennylea Angus Genetics, Knights Butcher and Teys Australia's Wagga plant.
Reuben and Monica will participate in an intensive industry training week in Brisbane, develop industry contacts and a top five will be selected for the Australian team to compete in the US later in the year
ICMJ association president and Murdoch lecturer Peter McGilchrist said the program provided students with a learning platform that developed their understanding of meat supply chains from conception to consumption.
"The ICMJ program is the only tertiary event of its kind that students can attend across all agricultural fields in Australian and one which our industry should be immensely proud of due to the huge impact it has had on the industry over its 26 year history, with more than 2000 graduates," said Dr McGilchrist.
"The vision of the program's major sponsors Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Australia Meat Processors Corporation (AMPC) and Murdoch University's team sponsors to invest in the education and training of the next generation of industry leaders is very important if our industry is to take full advantage of the agricultural boom which is fast approaching."
This year the ICMJ committee-provided coaches gave an extra opportunity for each university to nominate one exceptional student to attend the Brisbane training week.
Murdoch selected Chad Averill, for showing tremendous industry potential.
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences coach Sarah Stewart said Chad was selected because of his enthusiasm.
"It was the first time the committee has decided we could select an extra student," Dr Stewart said.
"We decided that Chad would be a great candidate as he demonstrated a high level of dedication.
"He is enthusiastic and he was a good judge."
Ms Stewart said Minderoo and Harvey Beef sponsored the students' trip.
"Their investment in this program is central to the education and training of the next generation of industry leaders coming out of WA," she said.
The group was also supported by Linley Valley Pork, the Royal Agricultural Society and The Murdoch Vet Trust.