• Jessie Chiconi

#2017WagyuExpansion Conference & Tour

From the 1st-5th May 2017, the Australian Wagyu Association held the #2017WagyuExpansion Conference & Tour in Albury, NSW. Noel, Gary and Jessie had the pleasure of attending this phenomenal event promoting the Wagyu breed in Australia, and in turn has enabled Chiconi Grazing to make an informed decision on the direction and depth that we will delve into this incredible breed of bovine. Very exciting times ahead! Unfortunately, we were unable to complete the full tour for the final day but none-the-less, it was extremely informative and a critical moment for the future of Chiconi Grazing.

Day 1: Albury Entertainment Centre

The first day of the 2017 Conference began with a Practical Systems Stockbook workshop hosted by Mark Morton, Chris Hinks and Francis Waddell. This session opened our eyes to the technology made available to the the grazier by Practical Systems and there is absolutely nothing it can't do! We were introduced to the new Stockbook Gallagher TSI indicator that Practical Systems have integrated with Gallagher (as pictured below).

We decided that this item will play a major role in the performance and data recording of our cattle so we ordered an indicator which has made our current Gallagher TSi available for purchase.

Following the Practical Systems workshop, we attended the bonus technical workshop hosted by Carel Teseling and Caitlin Berecry as a refresher course for the workshop we attended in Roma in March.

We also applauded Wally Rea as he was inducted into the AWA hall of fame. What a true visionary.

Day 2: Albury Entertainment Centre

On the second day of the tour, we were treated to presentations from Pardoo Beef and their extensive enterprise; a very interesting insight from Lisa Sharp from MLA on the supply and demand of Wagyu and it's future growth in the world; Genomics and DNA collection and it's importance from physicist Professor Robert Banks; pasture options from James Sewell; the incredible journey of the Jacks Creek enterprise and how they won the World's Best Steak twice!; the strength of live export by Matt Edwards and concluded with a wonderful forum discussing "What Should You Breed - F1, F2, F3, F4" which consisted of a panel of Wagyu breeders with a wealth of knowledge to give to fledgling breeders like ourselves.

That evening we were treated to an outstanding Gala Dinner sponsored by Stanbroke where we indulged in some of their own sumptuous Wagyu (first time taste for Gary & Jessie!) and we were entertained by the harmonious tones of Golden Guitar winner, Sara Storer.

Day 3: Albury Entertainment Centre

This day proved to be a pivotal moment for all of us at Chiconi Grazing. While there were some exceptional presentations throughout the day, the highlight of the day (and perhaps the entire conference) was the Elite Wagyu Sale that commenced on Wednesday afternoon. Noel, Gary and Jessie witnessed history 3 times over the course of 46 lots on offer. Firstly, a heifer calf still in utero sold for $95,000, secondly a sire who sold for a outstanding price of $105,000 and thirdly, 10 straws of semen to a Wagyu sire that sold for $28,000 per straw! $280,000 for 10 straws. It became very apparent that this particular breed of cattle are booming and will continue to do so.

Chiconi Grazing cemented their future with the Wagyu breed in purchasing the top priced female from Macquarie Wagyu for $24,000 and also 10 straws to a bull that compliments our lovely lady! We intend to do extensive artificial reproduction programs including embryo transfers and IVF.

Macquarie Wagyu K1197

Day 4: Global Reproduction Services & Moyhu Wagyu Stud Tour

The tour began on Thursday 4th May with a visit to Global Reproduction Services with principals, Dom and Jo-anne Bayard. GRS specialises in a variety of bovine reproduction techniques including semen sexing at their facility in Goorambat in northern Victoria. Dom and Jo-Anne showed the group through their extensive facilities and are working wonders in the Wagyu world.

Following our tour of GRS, we had lunch at the beautiful Baileys Winery near Glenrowan which was spectacular. We then moved on to Moyhu Wagyu stud in Kings Valley where we witnessed Practical Systems Stockbook in full swing at the cattle yards and a sire aged 19 years who

is still very much working within their herd. Their "feed pad" opposed to feedlot showed Wagyu steers on feed and their feed rations and their predictions on Wagyu and how the markets will react to the ever increasing interest in Wagyu which was very interesting. 

Upon departing Moyhu Wagyu, we retired to dinner at the All Saints Winery where we were served Chuck steak with a marble score of 4/5 which was like eating fairy-floss! That meal will go down as one of the best eating experiences we've had yet. Take a look at the video!

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