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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2015
YEARBOOK2015 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA 60 The TWJ program was designed to provide relief activities for cattle producers and their communities in the disaster hit areas of the Tohoku region of Japan. At the inception of the program, the Australian industry conducted a charity BBQ and raised fund to support the TWJ activities. Donations were made by meat exporters, ICA co funding program from producer levy, as well as individual contributions. Since then, MLA Japan office conducted various support/ relief activities on behalf of the industry, ranging from BBQ at evacuation centres, food supply, Australian hay deliveries to producers and visits to Australia by Tohoku students and cattle producers. As the last stage of the initiative, the industry launched TWJ Scholarship program in 2014, leveraging the remaining TWJ budget. Besides the core objective – to support future generation cattle producers in the Tohoku beef industry – the program is designed to demonstrate Australian beef industry’s ongoing commitment to Japan, and our desire to nurture the mutually beneficial beef partnership with the Japanese counterparts After a number of discussions and public review process with the Japanese stakeholders and the Australian Peak Council members, five students were selected and took part in the TWJ Scholarship program visit in February 2015. On arrival, students took up a two weeks English course to become familiar with the English speaking environment. Then they individually headed to farms in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, nominated by Cattle Council Australia and Australian Lot Feeders Association. Upon completion of their farm experience, students were given opportunities to study an Australian feedlot (Kerwee Feedlot) and beef processing plant (JBS Dinmore). It was a challenging, but invaluable experience for each student – living away from home and their culture for a month, in an unfamiliar environment, with limited or little English, and yet there were so much they wanted to learn, experiment and ask questions about. In their post visit report, each expressed their sincere appreciation for the Australian beef industry that made visit possible for them. They also wrote about their memorable moments and dreams for future: Keita Komatsu whose family runs a stock feed distribution company in Tohoku, said “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of the Australian beef industry who allowed me to enjoy this amazing experience. It was a truly rewarding and fulfilling one month adventure”. After the visit, he reaffirmed his future ambition of succeeding his family business, and work with Tohoku producers. Sho Kanno, who is currently studying Livestock Together with Japan (TWJ) Together With Japan initiative was started in April 2011 by the Australian red meat industry as a response to Japan’s Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami disaster in March 2011. Our desire to nurture the mutually beneficial beef partnership with the Japanese counterparts.