Currently the second phase of the programme is about to begin and the former Regional Landcare Facilitator (RLF) will now be known as the Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF).
The first phase of the RLF programme has facilitated the horticulture, grazing and forestry working groups to develop, and or update, ABCD sustainability frameworks for their respective industry. These working groups include community and industry members.
The programme will continue to facilitate working groups and the refinement of agricultural ABCD sustainability frameworks. Additional capacity building activities will be delivered that will be targeted to the needs of the region’s agricultural producers under advice from the working groups and the Innovative Grazing Network.
Read about Regional Landcare events, like the annual Innovative Grazing Forum and Healthy Soils Symposium. You can learn more about the RLF role and network by viewing the following links Networking opportunities (pdf), and the RLF focus (pdf). Please note these links and the remainder of this page will soon be updated to reflect the vision of the second phase of the now RALF programme.
Every March, the Grazing Forum attracts more than 100 farmers, who learn about a wide range of issues including biosecurity updates, foundations of a breeder herd, managing climate variability, weed management, economic implications of adopting improved grazing management practices, and new pasture varieties for the region.
The Grazing Forum is focused specifically on graziers in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac NRM region, it provides one of the only local opportunities for networking amongst grazing industry representatives, professionals, service providers, and other graziers. Since 2017, Reef Catchments started live streaming the Grazing Forum. Presentations can be viewed on the YouTube channel
Mackay Sustainable Grazing Forum
Soil health is one of the biggest challenges facing the region’s agricultural producers and the RLF programme has enabled delivery of the annual Healthy Soils Symposium to provide information from leading soils and land management experts, while also supporting the farmer driven Central Queensland Soil Health Systems group and their endeavours.
The RLF programme also delivers other diverse capacity building activities for the region’s agricultural producers including the three day Working Dog and Advanced Livestock Handling Workshop, which saw a group of 15 graziers, together with their working dogs and swags, join the Neil McDonald’s workshop in Balberra, Mackay.
Morning shed lessons prepared the group for hands-on practical exercises held later in the day. Attendees gained confidence in understanding their working dogs’ deep embedded instincts to allow them to work as a team to efficiently manoeuver livestock. The subtle skill of handling livestock without the help of dogs was fascinating to the participants. This workshop aligned well with Reef Catchments Grazing ABCD Framework, supporting the likes of cell grazing and rotational grazing to allow greater spelling periods which results in improved ground cover and soil health conditions.
Juliane welcomed additional graziers to the Innovative Grazing BBQ Dinner held on one of the nights during the three day workshop. Together, the group utilised the BBQ to engage and network, and to resolve questions around Grazing BMP and biosecurity.
Other activities facilitated and/or supported by the RALF role include:
- Workshops on holistic management for graziers.
- Sponsoring local community leaders to participate in events and conferences, regionally and cross regionally.
- Workshops on seasonal forecasting tools and mitigation strategies.
- Cross-regional bus tours showcasing Qld’s most innovative agricultural enterprises.
- Soil workshops for all land managers.
- Regional Climate Plan
The RALF in the Mackay Whitsunday region partners and collaborates with groups including:
- Pioneer Catchment Landcare
- Whitsunday Catchment Landcare
- Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Authority
- Central Queensland Coast Landcare Network
- Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
- Central Queensland Soil Health System group
- Greater Whitsunday Food Network
- Mackay Regional Pest Management Group
- Mackay Next Gen Farmers Group
- Mackay Regional Council
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
- Fitzroy Basin Association
- NQ Dry Tropics
- And many other agricultural and industry groups.