Jasmine Nixon

Beyond the farm gate

Growing up in Crookwell, NSW, Jasmine later studied a Bachelor of Livestock Science (Hons) Animal Health and Nutrition, but it wasn’t until she became involved in the UNE Intercollegiate Meat Judging team that the scope of career opportunities beyond the farm gate became apparent.

Today, Jasmine is part of the Teys Australia livestock strategic operations team based at Wagga. The global food group prides itself on delivering the best Australian beef and has more than 7,000 partnerships with Aussie producers.

Jasmine’s role sees her working with livestock suppliers, organising workshops, grading feedback analysis and working in customer and community engagement. She relishes the chance to communicate with customers and says above all, there’s one factor that draws people back to grain fed beef time and time again.

“It’s that absolute consistency. The animals are given the right nutrition and the right environment to enable them to express those genetics so every time a customer chooses a steak from a particular brand, they’re confident in the knowledge of what they’re going to get,” she says.

“There’s so much science that underpins this and that really helps us ensure that consistency and that really high-quality product.”

If you’re stuck in the grocery aisle wondering what you’re going to feed the family for dinner, Jasmine says first and foremost there’s one thing you need to be on the lookout for when it comes to choosing quality grain fed beef – a green and gold sticker proudly declaring it gets the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) tick of approval.

The quality assurance program sets a standard for eating quality and is designed to provide reassurance that the product carrying its approval will meet the customer’s eating experience expectations every time.

There’s no denying we’re a visually picky bunch too, so when it comes to selecting which cut to throw in the trolley, Jasmine says appearance counts.

“Grain fed beef has that beautiful white coloured fat and we do find that customers certainly have a preference for that,” she explains.

“And when you see a piece of meat that has that beautiful, even marbling through it, you know that product is going to eat really well when you cook it.”

Meeting consumer demands and ensuring a transparent process for producers is paramount for Teys Australia. Since 2009 Teys has hosted the annual NSW Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial which aims to give producers useful feedback on their herd’s performance.

Prior to the pandemic, Jasmine regularly welcomed overseas customers to the Wagga plant and enjoyed being able to share the processes in place. A genuine curiosity over where the cattle are sourced from pops up regularly, and Jasmine explains that in Australia, most cattle are only finished in the feedlot for just over 100 days, with the majority of their life spent in the paddock (for Teys grain-fed brand portfolio).

“I find it fascinating and really enjoyable to be able to share these stories, and customers love to be able to actually meet and talk to the farmer about what he’s looking for when he’s selecting the bulls to use in his program, what sort of pasture management he does and how the welfare of those animals is managed right from the farm to the plant,” Jasmine says.

“People are always interested in that, and they’re pleased to see just how much care is taken along the whole process.”

Jasmine is also looking forward to one day welcoming back high school agriculture students who visit the plant as part of their industry study to explore the endless opportunities available along the supply chain. While they often come in thinking the only jobs might be working directly with cattle, they leave realising there’s a whole world out there for people in logistics, sales, automation, electrical engineering and beyond.

“It’s really great to be able to share this industry with others and we’ve got a fantastic product of which we can be proud.”

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