A stud cattle parade at Beef Australia 2021.
A stud cattle parade at Beef Australia 2021.

Beef 2021 sets new attendance record

Beef Australia 2021 has been touted the “best Beef yet” and this can now be confirmed through record attendee numbers.

A new attendance record was set this year with 115,866 people through the gates - up from the 100,000 attendance in 2018.

More statistics include 11,000 people using the new park and ride service, 4980 head of cattle across the event, 63 tonnes of beef consumed throughout the week, 800 contractors and staff behind the scenes with 150 Beef Australia volunteers.

It seemed like every politician was in town at some point with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and 39 state and federal ministers attending the event.

“What a fantastic event, something that has gone above and beyond expectations,” Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said.

“We are now being seen as putting Rockhampton on the radar nationally through this event, and we pay credit to the Beef team and what they have been able to achieve.

“I know there is a lot of work that goes in the background in preparing these events and really do tip our hats to the Beef Australia team.

“We’re keen and happy to work with Beef on 2024 and can see great things for that event.

“I’m really looking forward to Beef 2024 and what that can bring to our region.”

Beef Australia is still working through the final numbers of what the event has economically done for the region and the state, but it has been previously estimated it would bring $100 million.

One Rockhampton retailer reported his turnover in the past two weeks was equal to what he earned in six months.

It has been said by many that the event “brought the city alive”.

“I’m not saying that because we are part of the organising and the board that put it together, that’s the story I am getting from all of our locals, businesses and producers,” Beef Australia CEO Ian Mill said.

Work is already well underway to dismantle the huge amount of infrastructure that was needed for the expo.

“It’s amazing they have built a city - that took about two months to do that and to demolish that took about a week,” Mr Mill said.

“Other than sawdust and a lot of manure, the majority of the infrastructure has been removed.”

Beef Australia board vice-chairman Grant Cassidy said it had been the most amazing week.

“To Rockhampton, thank you very much, the host city of the greatest beef spectacular in the world,” he said.

More Beef Australia 2021 statistics:

Nutrien Livestock Commercial Cattle Competition:

  • $3.64 million commercial cattle sold – setting a record top price and sale total
  • Grand Champion Pen – Essex Grazing Company
  • Most Successful Exhibitor – Tie between Hatton & Co and Needmor Cattle Company
  • Most Successful Feedlot – Melbrig Feedlot

Nutrien Livestock Stud Cattle Competition:

  • 4.5 hectares of stud cattle
  • New stud cattle bedding, 4000 cubic metres of shavings in place of sawdust, reducing the need for 34 semi trailer loads to 10 and will be recycled into compost
  • 331 studs showcasing 30 breeds
  • 4,880 kilometres was driven by a stud cattle exhibitor
  • $23 million worth of cattle were featured at the showgrounds
  • Supreme Champion Bull – Royalla Ventura P158, Job Family, Royalla Stud, Yeoval NSW
  • Supreme Champion Female – Moongool Radical 26, Price Family, Moongool Charolais, Yuleba, Qld
  • Supreme Exhibitors Group – Nobbs Cattle Company, Brett Nobbs, Duaringa

ANZ National Carcase Competition:

  • 840 cattle processed in 24 participating plants
  • Adapted to COVID with the use of the MasterBeef phone-based grading camera
  • Won by Cooloola Blondes, Gympie (Terry Nolan)

International Engagement Program:

  • Plans were adapted to ensure the event connected our industry with stakeholders around the country and world when they could not be there in person
  • 125 businesses participated in the International Handshakes Program, connecting Australian beef industry businesses with global trading partners
  • 12 Diplomats attended the event in person
  • AusTrade, Tourism and Investment Queensland (TIQ) and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DRAFT) delivered International Seminars to global participants from the Telstra Networking Hub in Centre Ring


  • Pitch in the Paddock showcased nine finalists, with Black Box Co. taking out the title for 2021
  • Three of the finalists received direct investment immediately following their presentation
  • Six new products were launched in the Ken Coombe Tech Yards ‘Great Product Launch’
  • Nearly 500 businesses showcased their goods and services in the Trade Fair, with many reporting record sales and clearing stock in the opening days


  • The CQUniversity Symposium was delivered in person and for the first time online, to reach our international audience
  • 32 seminars were delivered with over 148 speakers (speakers in person and via virtual delivery from interstate and overseas)
  • 3,960 children participated in the Suncorp Bank Schools program

Dining at Beef:

  • 11 Celebrity Chefs and 1 x Butcher Girl
  • 1,881 Meals served at The Celebrity Chef Restaurant
  • 10 local restaurants were accredited with the Beef Australia Seal of Approval
  • The new Rocks Restaurant was a feature at the event, with an abundance of casual dining and food trucks feeding the crowds

Westpac Property Tours

  • 12 Property Tours – 850 Guests
  • 4 City Tours – 71 Guests


  • Over 135 performances throughout the week
  • 33 displays in the Beef Australia Demo Yards
  • 37 different entertainers and performers
  • 2933 attended the Classic Wallabies vs Beef Barbarians match
  • 25 former Wallabies with a combined 1072 games played for Australia at Beef 2021
  • 24 performance animals included in the program
  • 150 families met Bluey and Bingo

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