The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) announces that Jason Strong is the recipient of the 2015 AMSA Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award.  The award was established in 1993 to recognize outstanding contributions or service to the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Program and is sponsored by Food Safety Net Services and Agri-West International.Jason Strong will be honored at a special reception and awards presentation at the AMSA 68th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Lincoln, NE. 

Jason Strong is the managing director and CEO of Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He was raised on a property near Gunnedah, New South Wales, where beef cattle production was the main enterprise. He attended Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School graduating in 1987.

In 1990, Jason spent the fall semester at the University of Illinois. He audited several production and meat science courses and participated on the U of I Livestock Judging Team. He also traveled to one intercollegiate meat judging contest. That trip peaked his interest in meat science and meat evaluation. He returned to the University of Illinois in the fall semester of 1993 and participated in most of the intercollegiate meat judging contests. Jason returned to Australia with a great desire to further develop the intercollegiate meat judging program that was in its infancy in Australia.

From 1994 through 2009, Jason was responsible for selecting, training, and organizing the annual January trip to the U.S. to compete at the National Western Meat Judging Contest. The Australian Team would spend three to four weeks in the U.S., working out at various universities and packing plants, as well as touring many agricultural related industries. Many members of these Australian teams are now key players in the Australian meat and livestock industries. Jason’s knowledge and excitement about the meat industry in both Australia and the U.S. had a huge influence on Australian students seeking careers in the meat industry.

Jason was instrumental in the creation of the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2014. The Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association decided to make their National Contest international in scope, and so began inviting their Pacific neighbors such as Japan and Indonesia to compete in their National Contest. In 2006, they invited the U.S. to participate with the University of Illinois competing in July, 2007. This experience has been invaluable to U.S. students who have had the opportunity to participate and therefore gain exposure to the Australian industry.

Jason Strong has been highly involved in the Australian meat industry for a number of years. From 1995-2012, his career included positions with Meat and Livestock Australia and Pfizer Animal Genetics/Genetic Solutions. He also built and developed three retail meat shops, Butcher’s Block and Grill, in Brisbane, Queensland. In November, 2012, Jason became General Manger of Marketing for Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), the largest vertically integrated beef producing company in Australia. He became Managing Director and CEO January 14, 2014.

Jason Strong’s many years of leadership and service to the Australian beef and meat industries have led to Life Memberships in the Australian Beef Industry Foundations and the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association. Because of his commitment and dedication to the intercollegiate meat judging worldwide, Jason Strong is a most worthy recipient of the 2015 AMSA Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award.

Jason Strong was nominated by Dr. Tom Carr, who stated that, “Jason Strong has had an incredible impact on the establishment and development of intercollegiate meat judging in Australia, making him a worthy recipient of the AMSA 2015 Intercollegiate Meat Judging Service Award.”

Source: AMSA