The Feedback podcast from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) features stories, news, information and interviews. This includes everything from red meat producers to policy makers and celebrity chefs to scientists.
The podcast – which also contains a snapshot of news from MLA – is for anyone who has a keen interest in the red meat and livestock industry.
This episode covers:
- Boosting carrying capacity through soil testing | Interviewees: MLA Southern Beef & Sheep Adoption Project Manager, Andrew Morelli, and Sam White from Bald Blair Pastoral Co. [00:01:19-00:08:02]
- Benchmarking project reveals goats provided ‘more stable profits’ during drought | Interviewees: Central western Queensland producers, Anita Dennis and Joe Taylor [00:08:15-00:15:09]
- Rare Medium Academy helps educate and inspire chefs | Interviewee: MLA Product & Business Development Manager and Corporate Chef, Sam Burke [00:15:25-00:21:34]
Segment 1: Boosting carrying capacity through soil testing [00:01:19-00:08:02]
Like a winning season starts with a successful pre-season, a high-yielding, high-quality feedbase starts with paddock preparation. MLA’s Andrew Morelli talks about MLA’s recently-launched Healthy Soils campaign, and Sam White from Bald Blair Pastoral Co. discusses how soil testing has helped boost carrying capacity by about 25%.
- Andrew Morelli is MLA’s Southern Beef & Sheep Adoption Project Manager
- Sam White from Bald Blair Pastoral Co.
- For more best practice advice, tools and information to help undertake on-farm soil testing, visit the MLA soils hub.
Segment 2: Benchmarking project reveals goats provided ‘more stable profits’ during drought [00:08:15-00:15:09]
Rangeland goats have proven more profitable than trading cattle during drought for central western Queensland producers, Anita Dennis and Joe Taylor. In this interview they share what they learned through a three-year goat enterprise benchmarking project with MLA.
- Anita Dennis and Joe Taylor are central western Queensland goat producers.
- Visit MLA’s Give Goats a Go for resources and tools developed to answer commonly asked questions
- Sign up for the Goats on the Move e-newsletter.
Segment 3: Rare Medium Academy helps educate and inspire chefs [00:15:25-00:21:34]
The domestic foodservice sector is a key channel for Australian red meat, typically sourcing about 28% of Australia’s domestic beef supply and 15% of the sheepmeat supply. With the foodservice sector significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, MLA has launched the Rare Medium Academy website and webinar series to help educate and inspire chefs to keep red meat on the menu.
MLA Product & Business Development Manager and Corporate Chef, Sam Burke also shares his top autumn red meat recipes.
- Sam Burke is the MLA Product & Business Development Manager and Corporate Chef.
- Visit raremediumacademy.com to join the next free Rare Medium Academy Masterclass.
News in Brief further resources
This episode covers:
- The making of the annual Australian Lamb summer campaign | Interviewee: MLA General Manager, Marketing & Insights, Nathan Low [00:00:50-00:11:15]
MeatUp Forums – designed by producers, for producers | Interviewees: MLA Program Manager for Adoption, and Chair of the SA MeatUp Forums working group, Penny Schulz [00:11:25-00:18:12]
What changes to the LPA NVD mean for producers | Interviewees: CEO, Integrity Systems Company, Jane Weatherley and Livestock Movements Supervisor at Mort & Co.’s Grassdale Feedlot, Jessica Clarke [00:18:27-00:24:05]
Australian Lamb’s annual summer campaign launched in January, showing the country uniting over lamb – and laughs – after a year that has seen Aussies divided more than ever. MLA’s General Manager – Marketing & Insights, Nathan Low takes us behind the scenes of the tongue-in-cheek campaign.
Nathan Low is MLA’s General Manager – Marketing & Insights
- For more on the Australian Lamb summer campaign or to find delicious lamb recipes for all occasions go to australianlamb.com.au
MLA’s new MeatUp forums are a series of large-scale workshops developed by regional working groups of local producers. Before the series kicks off next month, MLA’s Program Manager for Adoption, Sally Leigo and the Chair of the South Australia MeatUp Forum working group, Penny Schulz tell us about the series and why you should come along.
- Sally Leigo is MLA’s Program Manager – Adoption
- Penny Schulz is the Chair of the SA MeatUp Forums working group
Visit the events page to register for a MeatUp Forum near you.
Over the past six months there have been a suite of changes made to the National Vendor Declaration (NVD), providing an easier, more efficient and cost-effective system for the Australian red meat industry. Livestock Movements Supervisor at Mort & Co’s Grassdale Feedlot, Jessica Clarke and Integrity Systems Company Chief Executive Officer, Jane Weatherley explain what the changes mean for producers and how industry has embraced the new eNVD system.
- Jane Weatherley is the CEO of the Integrity Systems Company
- Jessica Clarke is the Livestock Movements Supervisor at Mort & Co.’s Grassdale Feedlot
This episode covers:
- Connecting Australian consumers and red meat production | Interviewee: South Australian sheep and grain producer, Natalie Sommerville [00:01:06-00:06:36]
- Building a carbon neutral brand | Interviewees: MLA Program Manager – Sustainability and CN30, Doug McNicholl and NAPCo General Manager – Corporate and Commercial, Stephen Moore [00:06:56-00:18:30]
- A cuts-based MSA sheepmeat model is in sight | Interviewees: MSA Program Manager, David Packer and Emeritus Professor, David Pethick, Murdoch University [00:18:48-00:33:4]
MLA recently co-funded the #BackOnTrack campaign as part of the National Farmer’s Federation’s Telling our Story initiative, which shines a light on the role farmers have played keeping food on our plates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Natalie Sommerville is a South Australian sheep and grain producer who is one of six feature producers sharing their stories as part of the campaign.
- Go to farmers.org.au to read Nat’s story and those of the five other #BackOnTrack feature producers.
The Australian red meat and livestock industry has set the ambitious target to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. MLA’s Program Manager for Sustainability, Doug McNicholl provides an update on how industry is tracking, and NAPCo’s General Manager – Corporate and Commercial, Stephen Moore shares NAPCo’s journey to launching one of Australia’s first carbon neutral beef brands.
- Doug McNicholl is MLA’s Program Manager – Sustainability and CN30
- Stephen Moore is NAPCo’s General Manager – Corporate and Commercial.
- Go to mla.com.au/cn30 for more on what MLA is doing to help industry achieve the ambitious CN30 target
- Visit napco.com.au for more information on NAPCo’s journey to launching a carbon neutral brand.
After more than 10 years of research the world-leading Meat Standards Australia program has developed a prototype cuts-based sheepmeat model. MSA program manager, David Packer and Professor Emeritus Dave Pethick, Murdoch University, explain what this means and when industry can realistically expect commercial implementation.
- David Packer is the MSA Program Manager
- David Pethick, is an Emeritus Professor, Murdoch University and is also a member of the MSA Sheepmeat Pathways R&D Committee, comprised of leading independent Australian scientists.
- Visit mla.com.au/msa for more information on the MSA program and sheepmeat pathways.
In this episode
- Demonstrating the value of adding annual varieties to increase production | Interviewees: Victorian sheep producer, Mal Nicholson and MLA Project Manager – Productivity and Market Insights, Alana McEwan [00:01:03-00:09:00]
- How much do consumers know about the red meat industry? | Interviewee: Pollinate CEO, Howard Parry-Husbands [00:09:13-00:20:14]
- Five tips to prepare for the wet season | Interviewee: North Queensland beef producer, Colin Burnett [00:20:30-00:27:06]
- MLA Annual Report 2019-20: celebrating resilience | Interviewee: MLA Managing Director, Jason Strong [00:27:25-00:37:30]
MLA’s Producer Demonstration Sites program supports groups of producers to demonstrate the benefits of new R&D outcomes and technologies. MLA’s Project Manager – Productivity and Market Insights, Alana McEwan explains what the program has delivered over the past 12 months, and Victorian sheep producer Mal Nicholson discusses the outcomes of a PDS site he recently hosted.
- Alana McEwan is MLA’s Project Manager – Productivity and Market Insights
- Mal Nicholson is a Victorian sheep producer who recently hosted PDS site that sought to clarify the value of adding annual varieties to increase overall production in grazing systems, based on perennial pastures.
Go to mla.com.au/pds for more information or to get involved.
MLA research has found that despite an environmentally, socially and economically tumultuous year the red meat industry has managed to maintain or grow positive industry perceptions. In this discussion, CEO of market research agency, Pollinate dispels common myths and tells us how consumers really feel about the red meat industry.
Howard Parry-Husbands is the CEO of market research agency, Pollinate. Pollinate’s work with MLA seeks to:
- Understand community attitude towards the red meat industry
- Identify the concerns underlying those meat eaters who may be reducing their consumption
- Identify opportunities to better meet consumers’ information needs
- Support the Communication team’s continuous community education strategy.
Find out about the latest consumer sentiment research.
North Queensland beef producer, Colin Burnett manages ‘Lara Downs’, a 33,000ha property north of Julia Creek, and knows the impacts a variable climate can have on production. In this discussion, Colin shares how he has built business resilience and his top tips on preparing for the wet.
Colin Burnett is a North Queensland beef producer and 2018 Nuffield Scholar. Colin manages ‘Lara Downs’, a 33,000ha property north of Julia Creek
MLA has recently released its 2019-20 Annual Report, which celebrates the resilience of our industry despite the extreme adversities it has faced this year. In this episode, Jason walks us through the highlights from 2019-20 and the focus for the year ahead.
Jason Strong is the MLA Managing Director
Featured in this episode:
- Improving flock productivity using genetic selection | Interviewees: Producer Ricky Luhrs and MLA’s Clara Bradford [00:01:10-00:12:20]
- Objective measurement technologies to drive industry profits | Interviewee: Associate professor Dr Graham Gardner [00:12:40-00:23:08]
- Producers have their say on MLA’s on-farm research projects | Interviewee: Chair of the Red Meat Panel Jane Kellock [00:23:24-00:36:20]
- Fighting the pasture dieback challenge | Interviewees: Producer Greg Lawrence and MLA’s David Beatty [00:36:35-00:46:33]
- Olympians virtually teaching the importance of red meat| Interviewees: Olympian Lewis Holland and MLA’s Fiona Thompson [00:46:36-00:59:08]
Embracing genetics is a proven way to accelerate livestock productivity. That’s the message Ricky Luhrs took away from an on-farm trial he ran from 2015–17, where he used ASBVs to record increased weights, wool and turnoff time in his Victorian merino and prime lamb flock. Hear about his experience in this interview, and learn how you can find the link between genetics and profit in your own operation.
- Ricky Luhrs is a Victorian prime lamb and wool producer who, along with his father Russell, has used targeted genetic selections to improve profitability in their operation.
- Clara Bradford is MLA’s National Adoption Manager – Genetics.
- Go to genetics.mla.com.au for a clear look at how better breeding values can help you accelerate your herd or flock’s productivity
The MLA investment call invites researchers to submit proposals for funding to support on-farm research, development and adoption programs that benefit sheepmeat and grassfed beef producers. In this update, hear how 2020–21’s projects are being prioritised based on their potential to have the greatest impact on the industry, and what producers can expect from the call in 2021–22.
- Jane Kellock is a South Australian sheep producer and the Chair of the Red Meat Panel, which provides strategic oversight over the investment call process.
- Preliminary proposals for the 2021-22 Investment Call will be accepted until Friday 2 October 2020. Find out more about the 2021-22 Investment Call.
MLA is undertaking a coordinated response to tackling pasture dieback – a destructive condition causing profit losses across northern, central and south-east Queensland. In this interview, hear from Central Queensland producer Greg Lawrence about his experience in identifying and fighting dieback, and from MLA’s David Beatty about an update on the research and what resources are available to producers now.
- Greg Lawrence is a Central Queensland producer who has firsthand experience in identifying and combatting pasture dieback, with over 70% of one of his properties being impacted by the condition.
- David Beatty is MLA Group Manager – Productivity & Animal Wellbeing, who is well versed in all current research and outcomes on pasture dieback.
- Visit mla.com.au/dieback for more information and resources to tackle pasture dieback
- Report any pasture dieback sightings to your relevant state department.
MLA’s Virtual Classroom program has been developed to improve teachers and students’ understanding of the Australian red meat and livestock industry. Two new education models are coming to the program in 2020 which focus on Australian beef’s role in a healthy lifestyle and balanced meal plan. In this discussion, hear about these new models, and how MLA is using Olympic and Paralympic athletes to engage students on a virtual level.
- Lewis Holland is the Australian Rugby Sevens Vice-captain, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was also selected to compete at the 2020 Olympics before its postponement.
- Fiona Thompson is MLA’s Community and Industry Engagement Manager, who looks after the MLA’s Virtual Classroom program.
In this episode Jason Strong explains what MLA’s newly-released Strategic Plan 2020-25 means for red meat producers; we talk to Merimbula cattle producer, Deb Gray who is one of almost 100 fire-affected producers who have accessed support through MLA’s Back to Business Program; MLA Market Insights Manager, Tim Ryan, dissects the trade outlook for the second half of 2020; Central Queensland beef producer, Melinee Leather explains how MSA feedback informs her on-farm decisions; and Integrity Systems Company, Integrity Program Manager, Damon Holmes gives us the rundown on what to expect from changes to National Vendor Declarations, which come into effect from next month.
- Follow this link for more information on MLA’s Strategic Plan 2020-25
- MLA has developed a new, dedicated resource to help northern beef producers identify and combat phosphorus deficiency in their herds. Find it at mla.com.au/phosphorus
- For more information on MLA’s Back to Business program, head to mla.com.au/bushfire-recovery
- Since their suspension in early March due to COVID-19 MLA’s, full suite of national market reports, including cattle and sheep indicators are now back up and running. Visit mla.com.au/prices-markets for more.
- Become an MSA-registered producer or find out more about the myMSA platform at mla.com.au/msa
- For more information on upcoming changes to National Vendor Declarations, visit integritysystems.com.au
- Find Susan’s Warriors Mongolian Lamb and many more secret recipes at www.australianlamb.com.au/sharethesecretrecipe
In episode 1, hear from gold medal winning Australian Paralympian and beef ambassador, Temora’s Scott Reardon, and catch up with MLA Managing Director, Jason Strong for an in-depth interview on how industry is responding to the challenges from COVID-19.
We also get help for producers impacted by bushfires, some red meat cooking tips from MLA sponsored celebrity chef Hayden Quinn, and Victorian producer Fiona Conroy walks us through the making of her family’s carbon neutral farm.
- Find out more information on the carbon foot print calculation methods used at Knewleave Partnership
- In response to the constantly changing COVID-19 pandemic, MLA has compiled a comprehensive list of resources. Visit mla.com.au/covid-19 for the most up-to-date information
- Many industry events have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit MLA Events calendar to stay up to date
- For producers recovering from bushfires, find out more about MLA’s one-on-one mentoring Back to Business
- Funding applications are now open for beef and sheepmeat producer groups interested in running local projects to validate the on-farm benefits of R&D. Find out more information and to apply.
In this express edition hear Victorian prime lamb and wool producer Ricky Luhrs discusses how targeted genetic selection has improved the profitability of his business.