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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2010
35 YEARBOOK 2010 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA Sam Gunn talks to participants about sustainable cattle production, 'Murrumbo', Hunter Valley The 'RAT' pack outside Charles Sturt veterinary research facility, Wagga Wagga campus Cattle Council demonstrated the devastating impact the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) would have on producers and the red meat supply chain. Cattle Council made it clear, throughout visits to various cattle properties, that beef producers are innovators and part of the solution to managing climate change. It was recognised among participants that consultation with beef producers was critical to implementing effective policy. Cattle Council valued open and frank discussion on issues raised around water use, climatic variation, productivity measurement, on-farm risk management, and adaptability and innovation in the industry. Participants took a keen interest in Meat Standards Australia (MSA), a meat grading system developed by industry that guarantees beef eating quality. As consumers themselves they recognized the benefits of MSA to both industry and the carnivores in us all. They had numerous questions to Meat and Livestock Australia on consumer marketing campaigns following visits to abattoirs and supermarkets, some of which utilised the MSA system and others, which did not. Participants developed a comprehensive network of industry representatives and grass roots producers; contacts they can access anytime to gain insights into industry issues to help with policy development or simply test the 'pulse' of the industry. » 'Knights Meats' owner, Michael Knight, explains the packaging and labeling system for his butcher shop, Wagga Wagga 'NSW Farmer of the Year' winner, Michael O'Brien, explains the management of water on his mixed farming operation near Walgett