BETTER Beef 2019, held at Tammin and Dowerin recently, was a huge success according to WA Lot Feeders' Association (WALFA) executive officer Claire Coffey.
"From all accounts the presentations were of a very high quality and were well received," Ms Coffey said.
"It was a high quality event that was able to bring the feedlot industry together at a time when unity is required."
The two-day biannual event opened with Australian Lot Feeders' Association (ALFA) president Bryce Camm's account of his last few months during which he has been targeted personally by activists.
"This shed a whole new light on the feedlot industry and really challenged delegates to think about whether they had everything sorted in their own backyards," Ms Coffey said.
About 126 people attended day one at Ivan and Jill Rogers' Kylagh Feedlot south of Tammin, while 60 were at Ucarty Feedlot, Dowerin, on day two.
"A highlight of the event was the 30 students from Murdoch University that attended Kylagh Feedlot," Ms Coffey said.
"The future of the industry sure looks bright and it was wonderful to see Murdoch's commitment to our industry."
Day one began with a welcome address by WALFA president Trevor Hinck, Kerrigan Valley Feedlot, Hyden.
It was full of up to date information about the beef industry and its management of recent activism against meat production and consumption, as well as the growth and development of export markets in Asia.
Guest speakers included Mr Camm, Mecardo analyst Robert Herrmann, Meat and Livestock Australia market insights manager Miho Kondo, author and financial adviser David Beca, Elynx software product development manager Hayley Roseby as well as others discussing staffing, profitability, animal welfare and technology.
Mr Beca spoke about how lowering the cost of production in the feedlot was the best way to increase profits, and the importance of up to date account management to assess where gains could be made.
Other speakers included host Ivan Rogers, Bonnie Ravenhill, who runs one of WA's largest dairy businesses at Narrikup and Murdoch University's Liselotte Pannier.
Rob Lawrence from Integrated Animal Production, Annie Brox from Origo Farm and Enoch Bergman from Swans Veterinary Services, Esperance, conducted round robin workshops before day one concluded with a sundowner and dinner at The York Palace Hotel.
Day two was held at Todd and Glen Quartermaine's Ucarty Feedlot, Dowerin, on Friday.
After an action packed day on day one, attendees were treated to a shorter program focused on grain and feed prior to a quick tour of the feedlot facilities at Ucarty.
WALFA committee member Ivan Rogers, Kylagh Feedlot, Tammin, was the master of ceremonies for day two.
"Grain is first, second, third and fourth when it comes to cost of production for those of us in the feedlot industry," Mr Rogers said.
"So we're pleased to be introducing some speakers who will discuss topics related to grain and feed for the second day session of this year's Better Beef."
Kicking off the morning of presentations was Tim Giumelli, Glencore Agriculture, who gave a market update on grains looking forward into the domestic and international markets.
Mr Giumelli highlighted some of the influencing factors on grain prices and looked at where demand is coming from for Australian grain.
The Black Sea region was mentioned more than once as a space to watch given increasing competitiveness in the international market, as was the importance of Australian trade access with China.
Kondinin Group's Ben White took to the microphone next to discuss grain storage, looking at the most cost effective and efficient ways to make an investment decision when it comes to grain storage infrastructure on-farm.
Mr White broke down the economics of selecting the right type of grain storage, and gave advice on factors to consider when making that sort of investment.
Hygiene, aeration cooling and monitoring were the main topics Mr White looked at when stressing the importance of spending the money on grain storage once by doing it right the first time.
Rob Kelly gave a presentation about his Livestock Pricing app which delivers market information direct to your phone as soon as possible in an easily digestible manner.
Mr Kelly walked attendees through some of the benefits of the app and debunked some of the perceived disadvantages and had attendees listening keenly.
Finally Rob Lawrence from Integrated Animal Production, gave a presentation about different types of roughage feed, specifically focusing on hay, haylage and silage, where he asked lotfeeders Ivan Rogers, Trevor Hinck and Matt Camarri to explain the advantages and disadvantages of producing and utilising those respective types of feed sources within their businesses.
Following the formal presentation side of the morning, attendees continued outside to the feedlot and were walked through some of the infrastructure, technology and processes which are employed within the feedlot.
Speaking at the end of day two of the event, Mr Rogers said the response to the 2019 Better Beef event was very positive.
"It's clear there is an appetite for events like this," Mr Rogers said.
"There is enthusiasm and optimism for us to continue Better Beef into the future."