Judges revealed for Beef event, Pitch in the Paddock
The judges for Beef Australia 2021's Pitch in the Paddock have been announced and include one of Rockhampton's own - Bevan Slattery.
The event is a regular fixture on the Beef schedule and this year is presented by evokeAg.
This year's event recorded a 34 per cent increase in entries from throughout Australia and one entry from Europe.
From the entries, nine finalists have been chosen and will present their pitches to world-class judges, potential customers and investors, both live at the event and to a global audience online.
There is $10,000 up for grabs for the winner.
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud congratulated Beef Australia for its 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," he said.
"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."
Beef Australia chair Bryce Camm was a driving force behind the establishment of the pitching competition and was thrilled to see its growth in 2021.
"I rely on AgTech in my own business operations and understand its value," he said.
"Beef Australia plays a vital role 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."
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.
Many 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.
StartupAUS is 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.
CEO and pitch judge Alex McCauley led the organisation's work on a range of research reports and policy submissions, including as lead author of StartupAUS's flagship Crossroads report.
"Technology is often seen as a disruptive force, changing the way that economies operate," Mr McCauley said.
"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."
Another judge, Bruce Creek from Thomas Elder Consulting, said AgTech was going to grab more traction as the effectiveness/efficiencies were 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," he said.
"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."
Mr Camm is looking forward to delivering an innovative event in May and thanked evokeAg for sponsoring the event.
"We are also extremely grateful to our principal partners for their support," he said.
"The Australian Government has invested $3.9 million and the Queensland Government invested $1 million, to help us deliver a significant new precinct and initiatives, showcasing agricultural technology."
2021 Pitch in the Paddock judges:
• 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 and New Zealand
• Bruce Creek, Agricultural Business Management, Thomas Elder Consulting
Pitch in the Paddock presented by evokeAg:
For more information visit www.beefaustralia.com.au
Wednesday May 5, 3 - 5pm Tickets are $20 - includes networking after the event