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Assessing the best of beef

12 Aug 2010

Getting to know your product 'outside and in' was the attention focus for about 30 Victorian and Tasmanian beef producers who participated in NMIT's three-day Structural Assessment School (July 30 - August 1).

The school put participants in the shoes (or boots) of stud and commercial herd managers, buyers, marketers and butchers in an effort to highlight the need for producers to have detailed knowledge of their product, within and beyond the farm gate.

NMIT conducts the school in association with the Angus beef cattle society, an organization who knows a thing or two about marketing beef. It took producers from the basics of 'on the hoof' assessment covering animal conformation, to coming to grips with the essentials of market identification and breeding animals to meet specific market requirements. It also brought them to the meat processing works floor where they gained a butcher's-eye view of carcases and received a firsthand appreciation of how cattle breed, herd management and feeding regimen translate to the best steak on the plate for consumers.

Set on the farm and in the classroom, producers spent the three days in the hands of industry experts while assessing cattle at NMIT's broadacre farm at Yan Yean, in the show ring-like facilities at Epping campus and at Marc Besen's beautiful Yarra Valley property, Tarra Warra. They were also able to take advantage of NMIT's outstanding meat processing facility (Epping campus) to assess the beef carcases. (Watch Video on Meat Processing Facility)

This is the third year that NMIT and the Angus society have joined forces to present the school. The event is now gaining a reputation as a 'must do' for anyone serious about their role in producing the best beef for both the domestic and overseas consumer marketplaces.

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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.