Stellar line-up booked for ICMJ Northern Conference

Stellar line-up booked for ICMJ Northern Conference

With Queensland borders open and interstate travel restrictions reduced, nothing can get in the way of the five-star program planned for this year’s ICMJ Northern Conference in Rockhampton.

An immensely popular speaker at meat industry events, Hogs Breath Cafe Corporate Executive Chef John Alexander, will headline the jam-packed ICMJ program hosted by CQUniversity and Teys Australia from April 20 to 23, 2022.

As the executive chef of more than 40 steakhouses across the country and hailing from a cattle property just outside Australia’s Beef Capital, Mr Alexander has unique paddock to plate knowledge when it comes to beef.

Mr Alexander, also the Executive Chef of the Australian Wagyu Association, will share his incredible insights and some well-guarded trade secrets with participants at the ICMJ Northern Conference. ICMJ Northern Conference Chair, Ethan Mooney, of Teys Australia, said it was sure to be a highlight of the program.

“This is definitely a facet of the industry that is sometimes taken for granted and John will demonstrate how crucial those final preparation stages are to the end quality of a product,” Mr Mooney said.

In his workshop, ‘From butcher’s block to chef’s plate: carcase breakdown and utilisation workshop’, Mr Alexander will explain the restaurant considerations of meat preparation and the innovation happening in that space.

Fast becoming a premier event on the Australian beef industry calendar, the ICMJ Northern Conference is designed to enhance the training and knowledge of red meat industry participants working in northern Australia.

It is open to tertiary students, agribusiness staff and anyone working with the Australian red meat and livestock industry as a unique professional development opportunity.

With a special focus on beef and Northern Australia, the ICMJ Northern Conference offers a specialised learning environment where participants can immediately put their knowledge into practice through a series of hands-on/practical workshops and a meat judging competition.

Mr Mooney, of Teys Australia, said the program would also feature an extended session on-site at one of Australia’s largest meat processing facilities.

“Last year’s participants got so much out of their time at the Teys Lakes Creek processing facility and told us it was a highlight of the program,” he said.

“We’ve taken that on board and we are looking at ways to further enhance that experience and give our participants, particularly those already working in the industry, even more opportunity to learn about the intricacies of meat processing operations.”

Registrations for the event will open in February, with places strictly limited.

As well as the training workshops, site visits and the meat judging competition, the program will also feature a careers expo, attended by Australia’s major meat processing companies, several of the large vertically integrated beef supply chain businesses, and industry service providers.

Intercollegiate meat judging was established in 1927 by meat science professors in the United States and has since grown to encompass major events in agricultural education calendars around the world, including Australia where a competition was first held in 1990.

The Australian ICMJ program exposes students to the fundamentals of meat quality, carcase specifications required in today’s market, the requirements of the modern consumer and the role of new technologies in meeting those needs. Platinum sponsors include Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation (AMPC).

CQUniversity agriculture spokesman Michael Thomson said ICMJ was now a key pillar in Rockhampton’s role as the Beef Capital of Australia by supporting the development of the northern beef industry’s future leaders.

“As the northern beef industry evolves with new technology and access to higher value markets, it’s vital that tertiary students and young industry professionals have access to the insights and experiences of industry leaders,” Mr Thomson said.

“CQUniversity’s hosting of the ICMJ Northern Conference not only supports that educational need but provides the perfect recruitment pipeline for agribusinesses to retain local graduates and attract skilled workers to the region.”

• For more information or to enter as an individual or as a team contact Ethan Mooney at