DAF’s sizzling steak in Beef 2021

Welcome to Turf ‘n’ Surf, a podcast that tells stories in Queensland’s farming, fishing, biosecurity and forestry sectors.

Since 1988, Beef Australia events have brought together all sections of the beef industry in a national exhibition celebrating Australia’s world-class beef and its producers.

Beef Australia 2021 will promote more than 500 businesses, feature more than 4500 cattle from over 30 breeds, and deliver new research information to producers.

It truly is one of the world’s great beef cattle events, showcasing the best beef cattle Australia has to offer and providing the ideal platform to grow Queensland’s multi-billion-dollar beef industry.

In this special Beef 2021 episode of Turf’n’Surf, we’ll look at the importance of Beef 2021 to producers and the beef industry, and explore Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ sizzling steak in Beef 2021.

Meet our guests

Colin Dunne Colin Dunne
Cliff Mylrea Cliff Mylrea
Denise Kreymborg Denise Kreymborg
Paul Walmsley Paul Walmsley


Program intro: Welcome to Turf’n’Surf, powered by Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Shaping and protecting food and fibre for tomorrow’s Queensland.

Host: The year was 1988. As Australia celebrated its bicentenary, a new event was born in Central Queensland.

Beef Australia was an instant hit, bringing together all sections of the beef industry in a national exhibition celebrating Australia’s world-class beef producers.

Held every three years in Rockhampton, widely regarded as Australia’s beef capital, the event, now known as Beef Australia 2021, has grown to attract more than 100,000 people from across Australia and around the world.

Beef 2021 will promote more than 500 businesses, feature more than 4500 cattle from over 30 breeds, and deliver new research information to producers.

It truly is one of the world’s great beef cattle events, showcasing the best beef cattle Australia has to offer and providing the ideal platform to grow Queensland’s multi-billion-dollar beef industry.

Appropriately, Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has been on board right from the very beginning, proudly playing a substantial role in growing the event – leading the Queensland Government presence, presenting seminars, having representatives on all event committees, and as a major sponsor.

I’m Brad Muir. In this special Beef 2021 episode of Turf’n’Surf, we’ll look at the importance of Beef 2021 to producers and the beef industry, and explore Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ sizzling steak in Beef 2021.

Program segue: You’re listening to Turf’n’Surf, the official podcast of Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Shaping and protecting food and fibre for tomorrow’s Queensland.

Host: Colin Dunn and Cliff Mylrea are beef producers who have regularly attended beef Australia events, Colin as a show-goer and Cliff as an exhibitor.

Colin and his family run about 10,000 head of Brahman cross beef cattle across several properties in Central Queensland. While Cliff runs about 2000 head of drought master beef cattle at Rookwood, about a hundred kilometers northwest of Rockhampton.

Colin, I'll start with you. Thanks for joining us. What does an event like Beef 2021 offer to producers who simply go along for a day out?

Colin: Well, my first comment would be that a day out’s probably not enough.

But if you start with a day, that's a good start because by the time you go there and by the time you run into a few mates and have a few yarns and you have a cup of tea and you get tied up looking at something, your day passes by and you say, oooh gee, I didn't get half that done that you’d think you'd see because there is a lot to see out there for the day.

Host: That's a really good point you make that it takes more than day to get around. Beef '21 is such a large event with a lot happening. What are some of your favorite aspects of the event?

Colin: There's a lot of favourite bits, but it's just a great chance to talk to knowledgeable people that's involved in our great industry.

I enjoy catching up with our peak body representative, which is AgForce, that does a good job for us through the year. And then, of course, you've got all the State Government departments that are there that represent each section with policy and stuff.

And at the end of the week, after you’ve had a big week, you can all doll up in your good clothes, take your wife out to a gala ball, talk about the lovely week at Beef Week you’ve had, and talk about the good time you’re going to have for the next one when it comes along in a few years’ time.

It is a great industry, the beef industry, and it’s just a good chance to talk to like-minded people and share your ideas.

Host: So, catching up with like-minded people is very important to you. Is there something that you've seen at the show that you've thought gee, that would benefit the business?

Colin: It's hard to pinpoint one particular thing. Like sometimes you go along and you might say I need a new cattle crutch, and when I go out to Beef Week, there'll be several companies displaying them and they are all very good but there might be one that suits your business a bit better than the others.

So what you do, you have a look at them all, and you say that one all suits my situation. And when you go home, you ring up and you’ll get an order and a lot of it doesn't happen there and then but the seeds are planted. So when you go home, you know exactly what you want.

It might be a tank or a trough or it might be something  involved with animal health. It could be a raft of stuff. You've got specialized people and people there that specialize in that thing and in attendance for the day and not very often will have access to those people directly.

Host: Beef 2021 packs a lot into a relatively short time. What tips do you have for people like yourself going there to get the most out of their visit?

Colin: Well, I think the main thing is you need to plan ahead a bit and try and spend more than a day there, two or three days preferably.

I need a week because it’s such a good event and anyone who’s been to an event like that, they realize that you need extra time. It’s just one of the showcases of our beef industry that means a terrible lot to Central Queensland and Queensland.

Host: Thanks, Colin. I'll bring Cliff into the conversation now. Thanks for joining us, Cliff.

You've been a 30-year veteran of exhibiting your cattle at Beef Australia events. Tell us why you decided to be an exhibitor at Beef Australia and what do you actually display?

Cliff: Thanks for having me on. Well we exhibit droughtmaster cattle, both stud and commercial. Our passion is probably with the commercial cattle.

And why we exhibit? I guess it's great to support the event, it's good for Rocky, good for CQ, and probably most of all, it's great for the beef industry.

Host: I imagine running 2000 head of cattle keeps you pretty busy. Then on top of that, displaying it events like beef 2021 takes a fair sort of commitment.

What does it take for you to be ready to display at events like Beef 2021?

Cliff: Yeah, commitment is something I guess, and you're going to commit and want to do your best. Like the more you put in the more you get back.

But, at the same time, we don't do a lot different for beef as we would in our everyday work or what we do with our cattle. There’s only so much you can do, you know, you don't want to complicate it. We like to keep it simple.

How we go about it, and probably the only commitment, the main thing that we do, is sort of once we wean our cattle, you just got to make sure that they go into a paddock where there's plenty of grass.

And the grass-fed cattle that we’ll show at Beef, well they be sort of rising two-and-a-half year old and, probably for the last 12 months, you’ve gotta make sure that they’re left alone and they’ve got a bit a room.

The young cattle you can shift around and annoy a bit, but after they’re 18 months old, you sort of gotta leave them alone if you want to get them solid and look good at the show.

We’ve got grain feds as well, and they’re probably only 18 months old and they’ve been in a feedlot situation now for about 120 days. They’re getting fed at the Duaringa Station feedlot and now you know they’re probably between 600 and 650 kilos.

But that’s our cattle, but there'll be plenty more the same there. There's a lot of good cattlemen, a lot of good cattle will be displayed there.

So, there is a certain amount of commitment, but it's just something that I like to do and we just work it in.

Host: Cliff, can you tell us about some of the positive outcomes from your involvement in the event?

Cliff: Well, we've had good feedback from our cattle that the producers have seen and we've had some bull sales that stem from that.

But probably the biggest positive is to showcase your cattle on a big stage. They’re the positive that I see.

I think it's good to stand your cattle up against other people’s and just see how they perform.

Host: What advice do you have for other producers wanting to have a greater involvement in future events?

Cliff: Well, I'm probably not much to offer advice, but if I was to give advice it would just be to have a go and back yourself and back your cattle.

Program segue: This Turf’n’Surf podcast is powered by Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Shaping and protecting food and fibre for tomorrow’s Queensland.

Host: On this episode of Turf 'n' Surf, we're looking at the importance of Beef 2021 to Queensland beef producers and the beef industry, and exploring Queensland's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ contribution to the event.

Denise Kreymborg is Director Regional Network with Trade and Investment Queensland, or TIQ, the Queensland Government agency tasked with building the State’s export industries.

Thanks for joining us, Denise. As background, what is the value of Queensland's beef exports, and who do we typically export to?

Denise: It is a significant industry for Queensland with beef exports worth $5.8 billion to the Queensland economy.

The key export markets for Queensland beef in 2020, were Japan valued at 1.6 billion, Korea valued at 1.1 billion, China valued at 954 million, and the United States at 919 million.

We'll be hearing about the trends, opportunities and how to do business in some of these market during Beef with Trade and Investment Queensland in collaboration with MLA hosting market briefs for Japan, Korea, and Indonesia.

Host: So it really is big business and when we talk about beef exports is it just the meat we're talking about, or are there other things we're exporting like knowledge and technology?

Denise: Certainly, there are a lot going on in beef to support increased profitability, productivity, and sustainability, as well as improving the health of our environment.

A key area that supports this is AgTech. This is why Beef 2021 has the Ken Coombes Tech Yards precinct, which will display Australian and international technologies that play a big part in the future of beef production in Queensland.

Trade and Investment Queensland works with a number of companies in the AgTech Space, from GPS digital tagging systems that will increase mechanization and automation, and sophisticated processing and packing to deliver shelf-ready products with improved safety in markets.

This is a priority for Queensland government as set out in the Queensland government beef processing strategy developed to support one of the state’s largest manufacturing industries.

Host: So beef 2021 is an international event and you've already touched on that to an extent. There are opportunities to cement both existing trade relationships and develop new ones.

So how does TIQ work with the various stakeholders to build and develop those relationships?

Denise: Well, the key thing to talk about around this key piece and this year Trade Investment Queensland’s inviting industry stakeholders and business to participate in those market briefings I mentioned specific to Japan, Korea, and Indonesian offices, as well as the migration Queensland Agent Investment sessions.

In general, Trade and Investment Queensland provides information and advice to help Queensland companies take advantage of the export opportunities through their 12 offshore trade and investment commissioners.

They’re specialized industry sector teams that include food and agribusiness sector. Based in Brisbane and their 15 regional offices in eight locations across regional Queensland.

Trade and Investment Queensland builds relationships with buyers in markets and stakeholders and businesses to connect with our advisors who will support their export journey and investment and attraction success.

Trade and Investment Queensland has a number of advisers on-site at Beef this year ready to connect with industry and business looking to export or attract investment.

Host: So how highly do you rate the importance of having events like Beef 2021 and having a meaningful presence there?

Denise: The Beef event is a significant event to the industry both domestically and internationally.

Held every three years in the Australian beef capital, the national beef export expo attracts decision-makers from across the industry and around the world to discuss all aspects of the business supply chain.

It's also a great opportunity to showcase Queensland's highly regarded premium high-quality beef, provides opportunities for buyer and producer connection, investment opportunities, and it showcases every aspect of business from high-quality stock through to the technology innovation achievements, supporting an industry to grow, be more productive and sustainable.

Host: Denise, without going into specifics, there are commercial in confidence aspects we understand that.

Do you have some examples of export deals that have had their origin at beef Australia events?

Denise: You're right. I can't talk to specifics, but Trade and Investment Queensland is actively working with many beef producers across Queensland, including Central Queensland, who have participated in Beef events and achieved export outcomes.

Trade and Investment Queensland also invite delegates of businesses and investment agents to attend and facilitate connections and meetings with producers, industry representatives and stakeholders across many different aspects of that beef supply chain.

I have personally participated in a number of these introductory meetings between investment agents and producers at Beef 2018.

These meetings were very positive and we have seen investment matches that have led to export outcomes from these delegations.

It will take time to be realized and can take up to three years from that initial introduction and there's a lot of negotiation that takes place to make that happen.

Host: Denise, world markets are very competitive, no matter what the product involved is.

What tips do you have for producers and businesses looking to tap into export market?

Denise: Essentially, connect with Trade and Investment Queensland. Trade and Investment Queensland has a network of advisors and specialists that work with companies on their export journey making sure business is supported to achieve their export outcomes.

Those advisors will connect businesses to Trade and Investment’s international trade commissioners and their teams in markets.

Trade and Investment Queensland actively fields relationship domestically and internationally with stakeholders, suppliers, investors to enable companies to take advantage of the opportunities in those markets. This is a free service that the Queensland government provides.

So please, connect if you are interested in either attracting investments or wanting to export your product, because it will save you time, money, and risk entering those markets.

Program segue: You’re listening to Turf’n’Surf, the official podcast of Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Shaping and protecting food and fibre for tomorrow’s Queensland.

Host: On this episode of Turf 'n' Surf, we're looking at the importance of Beef 2021 to Queensland's beef producers and the beef industry, and exploring Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries contribution to the event.

Paul Walmsley is the General Manager, Rural Economic Development for Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Based in Rockhampton, Paul has been actively involved in the beef industry having grown up on his parents' dairy farm and attended Beef Australia's Events since 2003.

Thanks for joining us Paul. You've had a big part to play in the department's involvement in Beef Australia's events, give us an overview of the department's contribution to the event.

Paul: The Queensland Government's been involved, particularly the Department of Agriculture, right from the very first event in 1988.

The beef industry’s an important part of the agricultural sector and we've always had staff that provide services that support the beef industry.

So, in 2021, the Queensland Government's committed a million dollars to this event. It's the largest contribution from the Queensland Government so far and DAF’s really proud to be the lead agency for the Queensland Government on this event.

That means that DAF organizes the Queensland Government presence, which is a big job, and we rely on our staff members to all pitch in and to help out. And we rely on staff right across the public service to be part of the development of the event.

So we have beef extension officers who are working hard to put together a display that we believe will demonstrate the value that we provide to support the beef industry.

Our biosecurity staff work with the organizers of the event to make sure that from a biosecurity perspective, it's a safe event. There are a lot of livestock present onsite, both at Gracemere and at the showgrounds, so it's really important that we get that right.

And then we have staff coming from across the state to present seminars and talk at various opportunities throughout the week.

Host: Now, as you touched on, it is a whole of government presence. What other departments will be there?

Paul: There are 13 departments that are represented at Beef for 2021. Obviously, as lead agency we have a strong presence, but the Department of State Development Infrastructure, Local Government, and Planning will be there.

Trade and Investment Queensland always play a pretty big role. Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Health, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Office of Industrial Relations particularly the Workplace Health and Safety team, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Resources.

And then we'll also have present at the event, Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority who provide quite a range of products and services to industry, Safe Food Queensland and the Department of Environment and Science.

Host: This might seem like a fairly obvious question, however, I do suspect there's more to it than meets the eye. Why is the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries so heavily involved in Beef 2021?

Paul: The beef industry is the dominant industry in most of Queensland. It's the state's largest agricultural and manufacturing sector representing 18,000 producers. There are nearly that many again, engaged throughout the supply chain, particularly in the processing sector.

So about half of Australia's beef cattle are in Queensland, around 12 million head, and approximately 60 per cent of Australia's beef processing capabilities are also in our State.

Beef Australia 21 showcases our innovative beef industry to the world and is expected to attract something like 100,000 visitors from international, national and local attendees, either in-person or virtually.

And particularly from an international perspective, our team's done a lot of work through the international committee to look at how we continue to demonstrate value and attract that international presence through that virtual opportunity.

But Beef 2021 is much more than an international one-stop beef shop and a great place to do business. It's a celebration of the beef industry in Queensland, Australia, and around the world.

Host: Pardon the pun, but we have a very big stake in the event. So tell us about DAF's involvement in Beef 2021. What's the department doing there and how will that involvement benefit producers who go there?

Paul: We have two exhibition spaces. Firstly, in the Sidney Kidman Pavilion, and that's a whole of government presence, so the other agencies I spoke about will be part of our presence in there.

We'll have a display and we'll have pop-up talks. Pop-up talks will run on the hour every day and producers can come along, have a yarn and ask questions of our, particularly the people who are on the seminar program, the speaking programs that exist for that day.

We'll be discussing the contemporary issues that are impacting on the industry, such as building resilience to drought, adapting to climate change to remain profitable, looking at strategies to help manage land degradation, looking at new pasture varieties including legumes for grass-fed beef and the latest research on pasture dieback just to name a few.

Our biosecurity staff will be available to talk to people about farm biosecurity, traceability, and registration.

And, for the first time Beef, 2021 will include an Ag-Tech and innovation area in what's been called the Ken Coombes Tech Yards. That will feature a curated display of market-ready and emerging technologies that are used in the beef supply chain.

It'll be an opportunity to have a first look at the technological advances that are currently in development to help individual producers, to look at long-term agribusiness planning for their business.

There will be a trade fair booth, demonstration spaces, and producer-led discussions at our Queensland government booth, which is next door to the Microsoft display.

We'll be showcasing our innovative research and technology and our staff will be holding workshops every two hours to walk people through all the latest research.

Host: So a lot going on and it all sounds very, very exciting. Where can people go to find out more about the department's involvement in Beef 2021, and where can those going to the event find DAF staff?

Paul: Brad, they'll find really good information through the app. So, Beef Australia have developed an app.

Within the app look for Queensland Government under Trade Fair Exhibitors, go to daf.qld.gov.au/beef2021.

They'll find our staff at the Sidney Kidman Pavilion and in the Tech Yards.

Program outro: You’ve been listening to Turf’n’Surf. Turf’n’Surf is produced by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. For more information or to subscribe, visit our website at daf.qld.gov.au.