Judges & Finalists Announced for Beef Pitching Competition

Published 15 March 2021

In 2018 Beef Australia identified and showcased the rising pivotal role of technology in agriculture, launching Pitch in the Paddock. Targeting start-ups, AgTech developers, inventors and innovators, the competition unearthed many great ideas. Propelled from this platform and crediting this competition for subsequent success, 2018 winners ProAgni have continued to develop and launch products for global markets. 

In 2021 Pitch in the Paddock is presented by evokeAG. This powerful union is the first of its kind for the Australian beef industry and the nine finalists presenting their pitch live on stage are guaranteed a global stage. Recent State and Federal Government initiatives supporting innovation and technology in agricultural sectors have no doubt contributed to the 34% increase in entries from throughout Australia, also attracting an entry from Europe.

The value of this pitching competition is far beyond the $10,000 prize money for the winner. It is the opportunity for finalist to pitch their concepts to world class judges, in front of potential customers and investors, both live at the event and to a global audience online.

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud congratulated Beef Australia’s role in driving industry innovation. “I’m excited about Beef21’s focus on innovation, with competitions like Pitch in the Paddock allowing our best and brightest to showcase emerging technologies and new ideas.

Setting ourselves up as world-class innovators will drive strong productivity growth and help Australian agriculture meet its target of becoming a $100 billion sector by 2030” Minister Littleproud said.


David Halpern, Sales Strategy and Operations Lead, Microsoft

Bevan Slattery, Founder SUB.CO, Cloudscene, Superloop, Megaport, NEXTDC and Co-Founder PIPE Networks

Alex McCauley, CEO, StartupAUS

Luke Chandler, Managing Director, John Deere Australia & New Zealand

Bruce Creek, Agricultural Business Management, Thomas Elder Consulting

Alex McCauley is CEO of StartupAUS, Australia’s national start-up advocacy organisation, focused on developing high-quality public policy to help make Australia one of the best places in the world to start and grow a technology company. Alex has led the organisation’s work on a range of research reports and policy submissions, including as lead author of StartupAUS’s flagship Crossroads report.

Mr McCauley said “Technology is often seen as a disruptive force, changing the way that economies operate. When it comes to agriculture it should instead be seen as a productive force – enhancing output, efficiency and return for producers. If Australia is to meet our ambitious aspirations for agricultural exports over the next

decade, we need to make sure we’re unearthing and investing in the right technologies to enable the sector to grow. This is critical to our ongoing prosperity.”

Beef Australia Chair Bryce Camm was a driving force behind the establishment of the pitching competition and is thrilled to see its growth in 2021. “I rely on AgTech in my own business operations and understand its value. 

Beef Australia has a vital role to play in supporting the development and launch of new technology for our industry. Pitch in the Paddock exposes members of the beef supply chain to the technology and innovations that are in the development pipeline – a unique way for innovators to connect with both farmers and investors. I am thoroughly looking forward to hearing first-hand what is ahead for our industry at Beef21 and encourage others to join me” Mr Camm said.

Entries were diverse and included an impressive mix of beef-centric technology products, software, Apps and physical hardware for use in cattle production and the beef supply chain.

Mr Camm said “There has been tremendous support for the new Ken Coombe Tech Yards and Pitch in the Paddock, to be presented by evokeAG.

A significant number of entries mirrored trends in beef production, focused on animal health and welfare, workplace health and safety and the end consumer. Consumers are demanding more information on products, evidenced by the rise in block chain technologies being implemented across all sectors of the food industry.

AgTech is going to grab more traction as the effectiveness/efficiencies are displayed to the end user.

Labour is costly and staff are getting harder to find, this situation is being displayed by our fruit industry through to station hands and manager positions on livestock properties.

We see some of the more common tech solutions saving labour and running costs, using tank monitors and auto water systems! What about when we can accurately measure biomass of grasses and can assist with grazing management decisions with trigger points to be made on drought conditions, this is a great space to be in when you can objectively measure and take out emotion.

Bruce Creek

Agricultural Business Management

Thomas Elder Consulting

We thank the Australian Government for investing $3.9 million to support Beef21. The Queensland Government, Meat and Livestock Australia, Rockhampton Regional Council and an impressive line-up of corporate partners have also signed on in support of the triennial event which based on ticket sales and interest, is shaping up to be our best yet.”

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