Looking for a Sugarcane Extension Officer

Title Sugarcane Extension Officer
Tenure Full time to 30 June 2018
Time fraction 1 FTE
Base Salary $61,750 – $71,250
Location Proserpine or Mackay
Reports to Coordinator – Sustainable Agriculture


Reef Catchments is a regional community not-for-profit business focused on enhanced use and management of natural resources (land, water, vegetation and ecosystem health) while maintaining a viable regional community.

Key Result Areas/Accountabilities for the position

The Sugarcane extension officer will

  • Lead the engagement of 50 growers in the Proserpine sugarcane growing area to adopt best management practice in nutrient and herbicide management practices (above current industry best practice) in line with the Reef Plan Paddock to Reef Sugarcane Water Quality Risk Framework.
  • Undertake initial benchmarking and follow-up benchmarking (State Government Paddock to Reef management program) to capture cane practice change.
  • Lead the development and processing of small and major grant proposals for the growers engaged in improving practice management and conduct final inspection of works associated with major grants to ensure completion as per contract conditions.
  • Develop and review nutrient and herbicide management plans to ensure continuous practice improvement and assess Nitrogen Use Efficiency.
  • Provide on-going extension to transition practice change in herbicide and nutrient management.
  • Establish field trials and demonstrations, collaborating with research agencies and communicating with growers through a range of extension processes.
  • Collect, coordinate and management of data, practices and spatial mapping associated with on farm practice change.
  • Participate in communications, promotions, training, workshops and field day activities.
  • Maintain the focus of the program to:
    o Foster sustainable production
    o Support innovation in rural systems
    o Enhance land manager skills and capacity development
    o Actively improve integration and planning across rural sector operations (regional scale)
    o Generate improved condition of the natural resources in the rural landscape.
  • Identify and assist in developing proposals and funding applications that relate to sustainable agriculture in the Mackay Whitsunday region.
  • Ensure that contracted milestones and activities are completed on time and according to budget and lead the reporting of outputs and outcomes back to key government and private investors and stakeholders.
  • Develop networks and maintain links with various natural resource management stakeholders including community groups, industry organisations, local government, interest groups, State & Commonwealth agencies, relevant to achieving enhanced natural resources management outcomes for the Mackay Whitsunday region.
  • Conform to all Reef Catchments policies, procedures and operation processes.
  • Work towards and supporting a safe, equitable and harassment free workplace.
  • Ensure that the company complies with adopted WH&S management systems, including statutory obligations and verification of required resources.

Selection criteria

  • SC1 – Tertiary qualification in a relevant field such as Agriculture, Applied Science or Natural Resource Management.
  • SC2 – Good understanding of sugarcane agricultural systems, in tropical environments and the impact of agricultural land uses on water quality including the agricultural land use and management practices required to deliver improved water quality and natural resource outcomes in tropical environments.
  • SC3 – Experience in delivering practical on farm technical support relating to all aspects of sugarcane production with a focus on nutrition and pesticide management, irrigation, farming systems, soil health, and weed control.
  • SC4 – Skills in working with landholders and managers to effect behaviour change in relation to improved land management practices.
  • SC5 – Demonstrated project management skills including the ability to coordinate multiple projects and budgets.
  • SC6 – Good written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate with influence to a diverse client base including farmers, agricultural industry groups, government and contractors.
  • SC7 – Current manual Driver’s Licence.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed on how you meet the selection criteria listed in this role description. To ensure that sufficient information is provided to allow an informed assessment to be made, you are required to:
1. Provide a response outlining your suitability for the position, with specific examples which address the bullet points listed under selection criteria. Your response should be no more than two pages; and
2. Attach your current resume (of no more than six pages) including names and contact details of at least two (2) referees who have knowledge of your work.
The selection panel will assess your ability to perform the work required of the position based on your response and resume and other selection processes which may include an interview and/or work test.
Referees will be contacted to verify the information you provide and to comment on how well you demonstrate the attributes being sought.
Further information can be obtained by contacting:
Michael Boland
Phone: (07) 4968 4200 or email
Please forward completed applications, (including selection criteria), via email or post to Reef Catchments, PO Box 815, Mackay Qld 4740 by close of business, Monday 29 May, 2017.

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