Digging Deeper Healthy Soils Symposium 2017

The annual HEALTHY SOILS SYMPOSIUM is a day focused on recognition of soil as a living medium. Our expert presenters will discuss how to maintain and enhance microbial activity in your soils to ensure productive yields on a long-term basis. With a mix of national expertise and local experience, this is a free workshop you don’t want to miss.

Graziers as well as cane, vegetable and fruit growers, are set for the upcoming Reef Catchments Healthy Soils Symposium to be held on Thursday, 30 November at Harrup Park. The annual forum will tackle the big issues of food security, growing produce with more nutrition and storing carbon in the soil instead of the atmosphere. Speakers with industry expertise and local experience will present practical ways to maintain and enhance the activity of microbes in your soils to ensure productive yields on a long-term basis.

Internationally acclaimed grazier and educator, Dr Terry McCaskey will utilise his 45 years of experience in soil health and land management to inspire farmers to gain control over their future and their farm by managing the carbon cycle in their soil.

Regional Landcare Facilitator, Juliane Kasiske said, “We have secured remarkable speakers to inspire landholders through innovation, it’s an exciting time to be in agriculture.”

“We’re promoting techniques for a robust farming system that can cope with pressures of pest and disease, climate variability with minimal dependence on inputs.”

Local speakers will include Mandy Tennant from Eungella Beef and Cloudbreak Lowlines cattle property, discussing how trials of agricultural lime applications have improved their pasture and ultimately their product. Jaime Jurgens a fifth generation tomato farmer from Bowen will discuss his transition from conventional farming to using biological methods and the improvements to his crop.

Dave Hunter will explain how microbes in the soil unlock the nutrients and make them available to plants and Simon Mattsson will discuss how planting a mixed species crops is essential in this process.

Farmers who are interested in the long term viability of their land and handing down an improved asset to their children are encouraged to contact Reef Catchments on 4968 4200 to reserve their seat.

This event is supported by Reef Catchments through funding by the Australian Government through the National Landcare Programme.

Location: Harrup Park, Juliet St, Mackay

Date: Thursday, 30th November

Time: 8.30am registration – 5.00pm

Cost: FREE Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea provided

RSVP: by Monday 20th November 4968 4200 or reception@reefcatchments.com



Juliane Kasiske | Regional Landcare Facilitator
Opening welcome

Veronica Ahwang | Yuwiburra Elder
Welcome to Country

Dr Neil Wilson | Sydney University | Microbiologist
Soils and the importance of microbiology

Dr Terry McCosker | Resource Consulting Services
Overarching Sustainable Agriculture Examples


Simon Mattsson | Nuffield Scholar & Cane Farmer
Plant Diversity in Cane Farming

Mandy Tennent | Eungella Beef & Cloudbreak Lowlines
Lime Application Trial in Grazing


Dr Terry McCosker | Resource Consulting Services
Soil Assessment Chart

Dave Hunter | Banana Farmer & Pioneer Catchment Landcare
Nutrient Pathways in a natural system

Jaime Jurgens | VeeJay’s Kalfresh
Comparison trial of conventional vs biodynamic farming in Horticulture


Dr Terry McCosker | Resource Consulting Services
Agriculture and Climate

This event is supported by Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.