Tammin’s Kylagh Feedlot has won a major accolade for its superior quality beef after being crowned Meat Standards Australia’s “most outstanding” WA feedlot.
Kylagh Feedlot claimed the top gong at Meat Standards Australia’s Excellence in Eating Quality Awards, held in Bunbury last Thursday.
The awards, which are held in every State and hosted by Meat and Livestock Australia, recognise producers that “consistently deliver beef of superior eating quality”.
This year’s awards were presented to producers who achieved outstanding compliance rates to MSA specifications, as well as high eating quality performance as represented by MSA Index results for MSA graded cattle during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
Kylagh Feedlot — which won the coveted Most Outstanding MSA Feedlot in WA award — is a family-owned and run business founded in the late 1990s by husband and wife team Ivan and Jill Rogers, who have become renowned for “backgrounding” and finishing cattle to a high standard.
Backgrounding refers to grouping and acclimatising animals before entering a feedlot or intensive finishing system and has been spruiked by Mr Rogers as a sound method in cattle preparation underpinning quality production.
The practice prompts production benefits once cattle are on feed, including improved socialisation and feed intake, while also reducing health issues among cattle.
Albany’s Steven Nairn won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 1), which recognises producers turning off large MSA consignment volumes from any non-feedlot operation.
Carmelo Vinci, of Beelerup, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 2), which recognises producers turning off smaller MSA consignment volumes from any non-feedlot accredited operation.
Mark and Dorothy Haggerty, of Capel, won the MSA Progress Award for showing the greatest improvement in their MSA results since the last awards series in 2019.
Waroona’s Murray Vale Farm claimed the Champion MSA Index Carcase — a new award presented for the highest scoring MSA Index for a carcase in each state.
MSA program manager David Packer said this year’s winners were chosen from a field of more than 1600 MSA-registered producers in WA who consigned cattle during 2019-21.
“More than 455,000 MSA cattle were consigned from Western Australia, representing 6 per cent of all MSA graded cattle in Australia in 2019-21,” he said.
“Throughout Australia, more than 15,000 MSA-registered producers consigned over 7.1 million cattle to the MSA program during the 2019-21 period.”
Dr Packer said the achievements of MSA-registered producers in WA reflected the ongoing improvements they were making to raise the eating quality of their cattle, boost the value of the beef industry, and meet consumer expectations.
“The online myMSA portal is one of the tools available to MSA-registered producers to continually improve the performance of their cattle,” he said.
“Using carcase feedback, the myMSA portal allows producers to comprehensively benchmark the performance of their herd against the regional, state and national average, and by selecting for different production groups and carcase traits, such as feed type, hormonal growth promotant (HGP) status, sex, and ossification.”
The Australian red meat industry developed MSA to improve the consistency of eating quality of beef and sheepmeat.
The system is based on nearly 1.2 million taste tests by more than 171,000 consumers from 11 countries, and takes into account all factors affecting eating quality from paddock to plate.
In 2019-21, 44.7 per cent of all cattle consigned to MSA from WA were classified as grainfed.
To be eligible for the awards, an MSA producer must have supplied volume (MSA cattle) in the top 50 per cent percentile for that state and feed type, had at least average compliance rate for the state, and consigned MSA cattle at least once per year (2019-20 and 2020-21).