Community & Business

28 October, 2023

Carcass competition a cut above the rest

The 2023 North Queensland Best Beef Carcass Competition (NQBBCC) conducted by Rocky Creek Abattoir has been hailed an outstanding success, with nine butchers entering and 96 carcasses supplied by 23 producers.

Shannon and Cailan Byrnes with David Hampton who entered the champion carcass and Tootie Nucifora of Babinda Meat Mart.
Shannon and Cailan Byrnes with David Hampton who entered the champion carcass and Tootie Nucifora of Babinda Meat Mart.

The competition aims to promote Far North Queensland butchers who support the local region and its beef producers and to identify who supplies the best beef in the Far North.

Victor Byrnes initiated the carcass competition in 2001 and it was conducted from 2001 to 2005.

It was then reinstated in 2022 by Cailan Byrnes due to the benefits it has for the industry.

The NQBBCC is a North Queensland premier beef industry event.  

The competition stands as a testament to the region’s dedication to producing the finest beef, showcasing the seamless collaboration between butchers, wholesalers and producers in pursuit of excellence.

Most importantly, the competition provides producers and butchers with feedback on compliance of beef carcasses to market specifications, yield of saleable meat and the predicted eating quality of those carcasses.

The competition is based on the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Index which is the predicted eating quality of the whole carcass.

MSA Research and Development officer Matthew Scott, who travelled from Armidale to officiate in the competition, said the carcasses presented were exceptional.

“The numbers of butchers, producers and carcasses entered were up from last year,” Matt said.

“The average of the carcasses processed was higher than the Queensland MSA grading averages.

“The competition is not soley about winning, it is about producers learning as well.”

David and Glenyse Hampton scooped the pool with their wins, winning Class 1, Overall Champion Pen and also winning Overall Champion Individual.  

They have been breeding beef cattle for 35 years.  

All carcasses entered were all home bred cattle.

David said shortly after winning the major awards, he was told by a long-time friend who he had originally purchased cattle from when he first started, that he had reached the pinnacle of breeding his cattle.

“I was absolutely amazed at the results, I couldn’t believe it!” David said.

“The butcher was ecstatic, what was achieved was incredible.

“Cailan came and spoke at a Malanda Beef Plan Group meeting and mentioned the competition and encouraged producers to enter.”

The winning carcass was a black Simmental/ black Limousin cow crossed with a black Simmental/ black Limousin bull.

The animal was bred from Lavarta Final Verdict, a Simmental bull who won his class at BEEF 2000.

The Hamptons went on to purchase him at a later date.

“Full marks to Rocky Creek Abattoir for the initiative in establishing this competition,” David said.

“It’s a great competition and very well organised.

“It’s all about getting a quality article into the right category.

“It’s a very exacting competition.

“Glenyse is big on records and accumulated data, she is very good at crunching the numbers.

“With butchers and suppliers, we need them and they need us.”

pg-25-carcase-comp—-4.jpg Mark and Tootie Nucifora with the champion carcass and apprentice butcher Riley Collins.
Mark and Tootie Nucifora with the champion carcass and apprentice butcher Riley Collins.
Tootie Nucifora holding T-Bone from the champion carcase.
Tootie Nucifora holding T-Bone from the champion carcase.

Babinda Meat Mart co-owner Wendy Nucifora said her husband Salvatore (Tootie) encouraged David to enter because he knew their beef was high quality, also it had a good yield factor and he wanted to see how it performed under MSA grading.

“We were over the moon and so excited for David and Glenyse because this proved what we already knew – they had good beef,” Wendy said.

“We were speechless also because we saw such a high standard of beef carcasses at Rocky Creek Abattoir that day and couldn’t believe we won.

“We have been supplying Hampton carcass  beef to our customers for several years now and have built a reputation for quality beef in store.

“Thank you to Cailan and Shannon Byrnes and team for working hard to organise this event, well done, you’ve proved that Far North Queensland beef is top quality.”

Wendy and Tootie’s son Mark, who is also a butcher at Babinda Meat Mart, said the meat being supplied by David to his father was absolutely superb.

“We have never had anything like this, it’s the best carcase beef we have ever had,” Mark said.

The competition’s event agenda also included a Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) presentation on MSA, carcass showcase chiller tours, carcass grading demonstrations and a carcass breakdown demonstration, field day stalls and presentations by Nutrien Ag and Farmacist as well as a presentation by Niilo Gobius from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and a drone demonstration by NQ Commercial Drone Services.

The program culminated with the 2023 NQBBCC Awards Gala Dinner which was held at the Tinaroo Lakes Resort, Tinaroo.

Rocky Creek Abattoir manager Cailan Byrnes and his wife Shannon Byrnes said the purpose of the carcass competition was to build up the meat industry in Far North Queensland and to promote careers in it as an attractive and viable option.

“Future carcass competitions will have interschool meat judging and more sponsors involved,” Cailan said.

St Teresa's Catholic College  travelled from Abergowie to take advantage of the valuable learning opportunity of being able to participate in a school group tour.

Remarkably, both Cailan’s grandfather D'arcy and father Victor attended Abergowie as well.

Rocky Creek Abattoir would like to extend sincere thanks to event sponsors Nutrien Ag, Farmacist and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) for their generous support.


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