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Feedback podcast

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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.

Latest episode

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]

Demonstrating the value of adding annual varieties to increase production

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.  

Interviewees 

  • 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.  

Further resources 

Go to mla.com.au/pds for more information or to get involved.  

How much do consumers know about the red meat industry? 

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.

Interviewee

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.

Further resources

Find out about the latest consumer sentiment research.

Five tips to prepare for the wet season

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.

Interviewee

Colin Burnett is a North Queensland beef producer and 2018 Nuffield Scholar. Colin manages ‘Lara Downs’, a 33,000ha property north of Julia Creek

Further resources

Read Colin’s story.

MLA Annual Report 2019-20: celebrating resilience 

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.

Interviewees

Jason Strong is the MLA Managing Director

Further resources

Download the Annual report

Register for the MLA Updates webinar series.

Past episodes

Episode 1

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.

Additional resources:

  • 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.

Episode 2

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.

Further resources

Episode 3

Featured in this episode:

Improving flock profitability using genetic selection 

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.

Interviewees

  • 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.

Further resources

  • 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


Objective measurement technologies to drive industry profits 

By 2040, it’s estimated that more than $420 million dollars could be poured into the red meat industry from the adoption of objective measurement (OM) technologies. In this discussion, Associate Professor Dr Graham Gardner, Chief Investigator of ALMTech, gives an update on industry adoption of OM technologies and how soon these benefits could start to flow through the supply chain.

Interviewee

  • Dr Graham Gardner is an Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Chief Investigator of the ALMTech project. His work focuses on ensuring Australian meat value chains remain globally competitive through using advanced measurement technologies and integrated feedback systems.

Further resources

  • For more information on objective measurement technologies visit almtechau.com

Producers have their say on MLA’s on-farm research projects 

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.

Interviewee

  • 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.

Further resources

  • 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.

Fighting the pasture dieback challenge 

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.

Interviewees

  • 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.

Further resources

  • Visit mla.com.au/dieback for more information and resources to tackle pasture dieback
  • Report any pasture dieback sightings to your relevant state department.

Olympians virtually teaching the importance of red meat 

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.

Interviewees

  • 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.

Further resources

Feedback express

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Feedback EXPRESS

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.