How Gympie firm is a big part of very different Ekka 2020
THERE will be no led steers at the cancelled Royal Brisbane Show's led steer competition in August, but Gympie firm Nolan Meats will keep the tradition going, virtually.
Nolan Meats director Terry Nolan said the big Gympie meat processing and exporting firm was deeply involved in the Ekka and for about 10 years had processed all cattle entered in the led steer contest.
"There won't be any live cattle physical judging, but a lot of producers have worked to prepare their cattle and have them ready to exhibit.
"The cattle come from New South Wales, Western Queensland, the Burnett, all over a large area.
"They'll go to different saleyards and send the cattle here.
"We'll process them and the carcasses will be judged in our cool room according to RNA judging criteria and MSA guidelines.
"There are hundreds of entries, 300 to 400 for the show every year.
"I don't think we'll get as many but I wouldn't be surprised to see 300 cattle," Mr Nolan said.
"They'll be judged according to objective data recorded and used for the judging."
But Mr Nolan said he did not expect the "virtual" judging to become part of the new normal, post COVID-19.
"I think part of the judging at livestock shows is about education for young people and producers, social gatherings and comparing notes," he said.
"When we come out of COVID-19 I think the event will be important socially again."