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Buckle up for Beef2024

Published 03 May 2024

Media Release

The air is filled with anticipation (and the smell of sizzling steaks) in Rockhampton as gates prepare to officially open for Beef2024 – the Southern Hemisphere’s largest beef event – this Sunday.

Those gates will be passed through more than 115,000 times during the week, as producers, exhibitors, chefs, innovators, students and visitors from home and abroad come together to celebrate all the Australian beef industry has to offer.

Beef Australia CEO, Simon Irwin, said the event would build on the momentum that has grown over the past three decades.

“Since 1988, this event has grown to become the premier showcase of the Australian beef industry that draws attention not just here but across the globe,” Mr Irwin said.

“Beef2021 generated $94 million for the Rockhampton region and injected another $55.5 million into the Queensland economy, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With more beef, more tech, more trade, more education, more entertainment, and welcoming back international visitors for the first time since 2018, Beef2024 is shaping up to be better than ever.”

Cattle events throughout the week will highlight the dedication, hard work, and ingenuity of Australian beef producers. 1,778 nominations have been received across 12 different classes for the Nutrien Ag Solutions Commercial Cattle Championship, while the Nutrien Ag Solutions Stud Cattle Championship will show 1,550 stud cattle and 78 steers from 355 exhibitors.

The AMPC National Beef Carcase Competition, onsite cattle sales, Datamars Livestock Junior Parading and Young Judges Competitions round out a packed schedule of cattle events. 14,550 square metres of space at the venue is being used for stud cattle housing alone, built from around 3.3 kilometres of portable livestock fencing panels.

The all-new Beef Australia Trade Fair precinct is the ultimate destination to explore a spectrum of products and services related to every aspect of the beef supply chain, with 604 exhibits spanning farm machinery to fashion. 48 tech and innovation exhibitors, including seven startups, are showcasing the latest in up-and-coming ag tech and carbon solutions at the the Ken Coombe OAM Tech Yards and Innovation Hub.

The Beef2024 Seminar Program features 35 seminars and over 125 speakers delivered by 18 industry partners across five days, while Thursday’s Next Gen Forum brings together key industry representatives to unpack how to ‘Future proof your beef’.

3,854 students from 66 schools across Queensland are registered for the Suncorp Bank School’s Program, supported by MLA Good Meat Education running from Tuesday to Friday, educating students about the origins of their food and fibre, engaging them with primary production and agricultural sectors and highlighting career paths available in the agricultural industry. 

More than 35 entertainers are taking to four different stages during the week, including Australian Idol finalist Denvah – a Rockhampton local. Plenty of free family entertainment is on offer at the dedicated Kids’ Zone and on the Ergon Network Stage, while adults can kick up their boots in one of the many bars or be inspired by cooking demonstrations that will reveal the secrets of perfecting beef dishes.

Ten iconic culinary maestros are cooking up a storm in the Celebrity Chef Restaurant throughout the week, including John Torode MBE, Matt Golinski, and Beef2018 crowd favourite, Iron Chef Sakai.

As well as the on-site restaurants, 34 food vendors are dishing up an array of food and beverage options. Most of these are stationed in the new M’Eat Street precinct – the heart of Beef2024’s food and entertainment offering, with a curated assortment of food trucks and bars set against the charming backdrop of picnic tables, shade umbrellas and festoon lights.

Another new addition at Beef2024, the BBQ Precinct has rounded up the biggest and best meat smokers and barbecues from around the country to serve the very best cuts of premium Australian beef, expertly prepared and seasoned to perfection.  

With so much to see and do, Mr Irwin is encouraging Beef2024 attendees to make the most of the week.

“One of the big things we really want our local community to know is there is something at Beef2024 for everyone – you don’t need to be from a farming background to enjoy what is on offer,” Mr Irwin said.

“We also wanted to make our night-time entertainment as accessible to as many people as possible, so for the first time we have a Twilight Pass available from Tuesday onwards – just $15 for adults coming into the venue after 3pm – and it’s free to bring the kids along too.

“Beef2024 shows that truly remarkable events can be staged in the regions, and we’re proud to have partnered with the Rockhampton community to grow and improve each event.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Regional Communities Mark Furner said Rockhampton is the epicentre of Queensland’s beef industry and the region produces mouth-watering beef that’s enjoyed throughout Australia and around the world.

“The exceptional quality beef that will be on display at Beef2024 is a testament to an industry that supports crucial economic activity and jobs throughout the region,” Mr Furner said.

“The Queensland Government is a proud supporter of this iconic event and I look forward to attending and being part of Beef2024.”

Beef2024 runs from May 5-11 at the Rockhampton Showgrounds. To view the full program, visit the event website.

ENDS

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