Agribusiness forum helps producers maximise red meat production

Principal of Central Veterinary Services Cowra Professor Paul Cusack speaking to the delegates gathered at the Agribusiness Today Forum.
Principal of Central Veterinary Services Cowra Professor Paul Cusack speaking to the delegates gathered at the Agribusiness Today Forum.

More than 100 primary producers and agribusiness representatives met in Cowra yesterday to discuss the red meat industry at the 2019 Agribusiness Today Forum.

The delegates were treated to talks from economists, researchers and fellow producers on maximising red meat yields and business opportunities.

Sam Harma, Regional Development Australia Central West CEO and forum organiser said he was pleased with how the forum went.

"Forums like this are good for producers because it gives them an opportunity to see firsthand market trends, new technologies and drive better farm gate returns," he said.

"As a producer that's what you want, better farm gate returns. It's good for the region because the agricultural sector is a key pillar of the economy and when it is doing well, towns are doing well.

"So it's important we roll out forums like this, especially with the background of the drought, this gives producers an avenue to get together, exchange ideas and practices, pushing the sector forward," he said.

Central West Local Land Services, Senior Land Services Officer Wendy Gill, said the forum not only provided an environment to learn but also socialise.

"It's great to have such a roll-up of producers and industry together, taking up the opportunity to engage with each other," she said.

"It gets people off-farm and together. There is a social aspect to these days as well as that knowledge-sharing opportunity, that's important for both industry progression and for producers."

Forums like this are critical in networking

John Coughlan, farmer

One such producer is John Coughlan who owns a mixed farming practice at Cudal.

Mr Coughlan said it was enlightening to see where the red meat industry was headed into the future.

"Forums like this are critical in networking and coming into contact with other parts of the industry," he said.

"Giving our point of view to them and get their points of view back, exchanging ideas and expectations.

"It gives you a window into the future of what is coming in regards to meat processing, research and development so you have an idea to what to expect," he said.

Mr Coughlan said despite the drought there were positives in the red meat industry at the moment.

"It's a great time for prices," he said.

"We can't take full advantage of it because we are under capacity as far as stocking goes because of the dry season.

"But it is good to see meat being fully appreciated by buyers with the prices they are paying, time and time again.

"It justifies all the work you put in over the years by sticking by those enterprises."

Mr Harma thanked all those who attended the forum and the sponsors for making the event possible.

"A big thank you to the producers who attended," he said.

"Farmers are the busiest people, they have a lot of competing time pressures.

"I think it's important if they take time out of their day to attend a forum like this we make sure the offering helps drive those better farm gate returns and is a good investment of their time.

"We can't do these events without our sponsors, so we'd really like to acknowledge their contribution."

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