Agri-tech in action at Beef Week 2018

Published:13 April 2018

CQUni is the official education and research partner for Beef Week 2018

CQUniversity is the official education and research partner for Beef Australia 2018 and will be taking centre stage by hosting a number of activities from symposiums to property tours and a hands-on high-tech stall at the Trade Fair.

Beef Australia is held just once every three years in Rockhampton and is the biggest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the industry’s major opportunity to bring producers, processors, service providers, restaurants and consumers together.

The possibilities of technology in the beef industry will be the feature at CQUni's Belmont full day property tour on Wednesday, 9 May demonstrating how years of hard work are bringing new automated livestock monitoring systems to reality in real-world conditions. CQUni’s Precision Livestock Management team will showcase cutting-edge research technologies in use at Belmont including the walk-over-weighing systems connected to auto-drafters and vision recognition technology. Additionally, participants will tour the neighbouring Beef Breeding Services laboratory and see first-hand their artificial reproduction capabilities.

The University will also play host to the CQUniversity Beef Australia Industry Symposium 2018 on Tuesday, 8 May that will be held at the Rockhampton State High School Sports Complex and will this year focus on the global disruption agenda and how it affects the beef industry.

Several keynote speakers including CQUni’s Precision Livestock Management Research area coordinator Professor Dave Swain will present at the Symposium which will offer producers and industry stakeholders with an opportunity to engage with some of the greatest minds in the field.

Professor Swain’s presentation on agritech (less talk and more action!) will focus on solving real-world production problems in the digital age and will take an in-depth look at DataMuster – a fast, simple and accurate tool for monitoring herd performance right down to the individual animal.

CQUni will also have a strong presence in the Trade Fair throughout Beef Australia with a high-tech marquee that will showcase the world-leading research that the Precision Livestock Management team is undertaking, including a hands-on interactive display where visitors can test the latest in cutting edge animal monitoring sensors.

These technologies will be on display show daily at the CQUni stall at Beef Australia, site P4 on ‘Porterhouse Promenade’, Rockhampton Showgrounds, from 7-11 May.

Beef plays a significant role in Central Queensland, contributing millions of dollars to the economy.

According to John Rolfe, CQUni Professor of Regional Economic Development, the slaughter value of beef in Central Queensland is worth approximately $1 billion per year, or 18 percent of beef in Queensland and nine percent of beef in Australia. 

"Beef produces billions of dollars for the region and is really the main stay that props up the economy in Central Queensland," Professor Rolfe said.

"Beef is important because a lot of our little towns would struggle if we didn't have beef and it also provides the image for Central Queensland. For Rockhampton, that's the 'beef capital' of the world. A lot of the history of people is also tied up with beef cattle for Central Queensland so it certainly plays a big part in the region and its economy."

Professor Rolfe said agriculture accounted for approximately eight percent of the workforce in Central Queensland.

"When we look at all the flow-on effect from jobs and transport, meat processing, it's really important and would account for about a third of the economy in Central Queensland."